Foxconn Workers Reportedly Strike over iPhone 5 Quality Control Demands

iphone 5 black frontChina Labor Watch reports (via Gizmodo) that thousands of Foxconn workers responsible for assembly of the iPhone 5 have gone on strike today, objecting to strict enforcement of increased quality control standards.

China Labor Watch (CLW) announced that at 1:00PM on October 5 (Beijing time), a strike occurred at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory that, according to workers, involved three to four thousand production workers. In addition to demanding that workers work during the holiday, Foxconn raised overly strict demands on product quality without providing worker training for the corresponding skills. This led to workers turning out products that did not meet standards and ultimately put a tremendous amount of pressure on workers.

According to the report, Apple and Foxconn had raised quality control standards to address issues related to scratching and other blemishes on the iPhone 5 casing, but the new standards made it extremely difficult for workers to produce phones satisfying those requirements given the equipment and training available to them.

The issues have reportedly resulted in significant tensions between production line workers and quality control supervisors, with several skirmishes having broken out in recent days resulting in injuries and damage to production facilities. In addition, Foxconn reportedly eliminated holiday vacations for workers, perhaps referring to last weekend's Moon Festival, and the company has reportedly "turned a deaf ear" to worker complaints.

Apple and Foxconn have been struggling to keep up with demand for the iPhone 5, with new online orders through Apple still being quoted 3-4 week shipping estimates. Customers have also been complaining about scratching issues, particularly on the black model, with some customers reporting that their devices have arrived scratched right out of the box.

Top Rated Comments

truettray Avatar
129 months ago
We take our devices way too seriously. The Foxconn employees are not useless, lazy slobs. Lemons are commonplace in every market, and honestly- a few tiny scuffs are NOT A BIG DEAL. These are fellow human beings we are talking about.
Score: 88 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mobilehaathi Avatar
129 months ago
All the designing, engineering, and brain-storming will go nowhere without the workers actually assembling the phones.

Treat them well.
Score: 77 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Virtualball Avatar
129 months ago
Forget the fact that this deals with the iPhone; this feels like we're possibly witnessing labor strikes in China. If this is a part of a worker's rights revolution, this could lead to a huge moment in history!
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bushido Avatar
129 months ago
i pitty and honestly feel bad for those people. i worked 4 weeks at a factory once and i just wanted to blow my head off.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dwalls90 Avatar
129 months ago
Bring the jobs back overseas.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GoodWatch Avatar
129 months ago
Huge moment = when China's economy is ruined by public sector unions.
I guess you still work for $2 an hour? No?
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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