Feeds

Massive strike at Foxconn's iPhone 5 factory

Up to 4,000 workers walk out

Boost IT visibility and business value

As many as 4,000 workers at Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory reportedly walked off the job on Friday in protest of the stricter quality-control requirements for Apple's iPhone 5 assembly line.

The strike is said to have begun at approximately 1pm local time, and as of this writing it is not clear whether it is still ongoing, although it is said to have continued through at least 11pm. If so, it could be a significant hiccup for iPhone 5 production, as Foxconn's factory lines typically run 24 hours per day.

According to a report from China Labor Watch, production workers at the iPhone plant felt Apple and Foxconn management had been holding them to virtually impossible standards, complaining about the tiniest scratch or imperfection while requiring detail work at sub-millimeter accuracy, all without offering sufficient training.

This led to frequent arguments between the production workers and the quality-control inspectors who examined their work, and these conflicts often turned physical. In at least two incidents, large-scale brawls are said to have broken out between production and quality-control workers, causing damage to factory property and leaving some workers hospitalized.

The Zhengzhou plant isn't the only one that has been troubled by violence since the manufacturing push for Cupertino's latest phone began. In September, some 2,000 workers at Foxconn's Taiyuan facility reportedly rioted for several hours in an incident that is rumored to have been triggered when security guards beat a factory employee.

For Zhengzhou workers, management's refusal to allow them time off for a national holiday seems to have been the last straw, resulting in a mass work stoppage that is estimated to involve between 3,000 and 4,000 workers.

The incident is only the latest black eye for Foxconn, which has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months over repeated accusations that its factories are little more than glorified labor camps, complete with long hours, filthy living accommodations, and hostile and unsafe working conditions.

The electronics maker insists that it is working to correct any labor problems at its plants, and in August it announced that it had received a glowing report on its reform efforts from the Fair Labor Organization. But local civil rights groups dismissed that claim, calling the auditing process for working conditions at Foxconn's factories "fundamentally flawed."

Foxconn has so far issued no statement regarding Friday's strike, and it could not immediately be reached for comment. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.