‘Thousands’ of workers go on at strike as Apple’s iPhone 5 plant, after unreasonable demands from Apple
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The strike at Apple biggest third party supplier Foxconn’s factory at Zhengzhou, China which makes iPhone 5 involved 3,000-4,000 workers, occurred on the quality control line.
The protest which led to beatings, multiple injuries and hospitalisation of workers, was blamed on “tremendous pressure” Apple and Foxconn placed on factories to churn out the iPhone, released last month.
Foxconn, known locally as Hon Hai, is Apple’s biggest third party manufacturer and employs over 1.2 million workers in China.
China Labor Watch, who previously branded Apple workers conditions as “deplorable” (think staff dorms, 60hr weeks, no holidays) announced the Foxconn workers strike on October 5 (Beijing time).
Workers and quality inspectors formed the strike after Foxconn placed “tremendous demands” on employees, including working on the October public holiday and “overly strict demands” on iPhone 5 quality without training, says the labour watchdog.
Fed up workers even began beating up quality inspectors after pressure were placed upon them to churn out enormous numbers of iPhone 5s to meet mass global demand.
Foxconn upped the pressure on staff despite design defects appearing on Apple’s new 4″ iPhone, and raised strict quality demands, including indentations standards of 0.02mm and demands related to scratches on frames and back covers.
“With such demands, employees could not even turn out iPhones that met the standard,” CLW said, and the ‘demands’ appears to have put the quality of iPhone 5, which starts at $799, in major jeopardy.
Only last month a riot broke out in Foxconn factory located at a Taiyuan, Shanxi, which management said was over a personal issue among 5000 workers, although this now looks questionable.
Several Foxconn workers have previously attempted suicide at the plants, forcing management to erect nets around the building.
“This strike is a result of the fact that these workers just have too much pressure,” CLW Executive Director Li Qiang said.
Workers complaints fell on deaf ears and management did nothing to alleviate the appalling mistreatment of its workers.
The strike also led to multiple iPhone 5 production lines stalled for a whole day, meaning even further pressure on staff to meet demand in the coming weeks, particularly in the lead up to the crucial Christmas period
Global Demand for the iPhone 5 has been massive as Apple sold 5 million on first weekend of sale alone.
But now it seems Foxconn has denied any strike took place at the Zhengzhou iPhone 5 plant last week, saying it was an ‘isolated’ incident, and deny production was affected.