Foxconn is world's 10th biggest employer: 1.2 MILLION on payroll
iPad-maker's worker ants still outnumbered by NHS at 1.7m
Altogether 1.2 million people are employed in the Taiwanese assembly and electronics company, which churns out the world's most popular gadgets including the Kindle, the Xbox, the iPhone, the Wii, Acer computers and Intel chips. China's People's Liberation Army employs 2.3 million.
The world's biggest employer is the US Department of Defense which lists 3.2 million employees on its books. The Red Army's 2.3 million soldiers make it the world's second biggest employer. Walmart (2.1 million) and McDonalds (1.9 million) are third and fourth. The NHS is the fifth biggest organisation in the world with 1.7 million employees.
Apple, which has 63,000 global employees, doesn't figure in the list.
Foxconn – aka Hon Hai Precision Industry – was founded in 1974 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Terry Gou. Gou bought a plastic moulder with a loan from his mother and started making channel-changing knobs for TVs. Foxconn is now China's biggest exporter. Gou got in trouble earlier this year for likening his 1.2 million employees to animals.
Foxconn has come under heavy criticism for the treatment of its workers. A 2010 Businessweek interview quoted some of Gou's favourite sayings as listed in a biography of the tycoon: "Work itself is a type of joy", "A harsh environment is a good thing", "Hungry people have especially clear minds" and "An army of one thousand is easy to get, one general is tough to find." ®
I applaud your recognition of the importance of unions.
Re: The NHS is the fifth biggest organisation in the world with 1.7 million employees
Well someone has already given some figures for a while ago, but I think you are being highly unfair on the many "pen pushers", "desk jockeys", "IT support staff", etc. I assume pretty much everyone among other things would like their medical records kept in some kind of order, maybe some kind of letter to inform them of their appointments and results, someone to answer the phone perhaps when you ring for that ambulance, someone to repair the medical equipment when it breaks down. Your comment seems to suggest that you feel these sort of jobs are pretty unimportant and unnecessary, and the people that do them are nothing but opportunistic scumbags, whereas personally I think the vast majority do a very good job. I also happen to think that you sir, are a fucking moronic idiot.
"How many of the 1.7 million NHS workers are directly involved in the fixing and welfare of sick people?"
In 2009 NHS staff comprised:
Doctors - 11%
Nurses - 29%
Scientific / technical / therapeutic staff - 11%
Ambulance staff - 1%
GP practice staff - 5%
Property and estates staff - 5%
Central admin / finance / HR etc - 9%
Managers - 4%
If you're adding these up as you go you'll find there's 25% missing - these were listed as "Support to clinical staff" - frankly I couldn't tell you if that makes them clinical staff, non-clinical staff or a mix of both.
Of all of the above I couldn't tell you how many are "skivers", "scumbags" or "ne'er-do-wells", but I'm sure it won't affect your eventual care in their hands if you carry on believing it is the proportion you currently assume it to be.