Business, Hardware

Labor Strife on Foxconn?s iPhone5 Assembly Lines

Three to four thousand workers on Foxconn?s iPhone5 assembly lines went on strike yesterday at the Zhengzhou, China manufacturing facility.

The walkout resulted from demands placed by Apple on Foxconn to improve the quality of the iPhone 5 after customers complained that the company?s latest handset had scratches, China Labor Watch said.

Worker conflicts arising from ?overly strict? quality control demands on top of little, or no training, and the fact that the workers were required to work through a national holiday helped trigger the strike.

Taiyuan Redux?
BSN* reported earlier on labor related production problems at Foxconn?s Taiyuan facility (here).

It is not clear whether the Taiyuan problems relate to Apple and iPhone5 production though workers from the Zhengzhou facility transferred to the Taiyuan facility were unhappy over the lack of guarantees offered by Foxconn?s management related to the length and terms of their transfer.

Foxconn Planning Production Move
The company said last month it will invest $494 million to build as many as five manufacturing plants in Itu City near Sao Paulo resulting in the creation of 10,000 jobs in Brazil. Production, planned to commence in 2014 reaching full loaded iPad and iPhone assembly capacity by 2016.

BSN* Take
The workers in Zhengzhou realize that there is life after Foxconn.

Foxconn, announcing the move of automated manufacturing for Apple?s iPad and iPhone product lines to Brazil is not an easy sell across the labor board. The workers seem to be making their moves ahead of management?s ability to control.

In fact, nascent signs of a labor movement have already begun as exhibited by the worker?s actions. We expect employees to organize for solidarity and en masse representation.

This is the beginning of an exciting and exhilarating period for China and its workers. Self-realization of individual rights is a very powerful intoxicant.

We also wonder whether this the beginning of a second cultural revolution?