Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn settles with protesting employees

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


Apple's Chinese manufacturing partner Foxconn has settled a dispute with plant workers who threatened mass suicide over wages and working conditions at the company's Wuhan factory which produces Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console.



The Taiwan-based electronics maker said in a statement released on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with a group of workers who were protesting the low pay and dismal work environment at the company's plant in Wuhan, China, reports The New York Times.



Foxconn, the world's largest electronics manufacturer and supplier of products to Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and others, claims that the two parties came to an amicable agreement to the week-long ordeal which ended with the resignation of 45 employees.



In its official statement, the company noted that most of the approximately 150 protestors had accepted the proposed terms and have returned to work. Details of the settlement have not been released.



“The welfare of our employees is our top priority, and we are committed to ensuring that all employees are treated fairly and that their rights are fully protected," Foxconn said in the statement.



An employee at the facility, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that over 100 of the 32,000 workers at the Wuhan campus had taken to the rooftop of a three-story campus building in a protest that lasted eight hours. Some of the disgruntled employees reportedly threatened to jump from the roof if the company failed to meet their demands.



“That day was very cold,” he said. “Some women could not stand the freezing temperatures and fainted.”





Protestors gather atop a building at Foxconn's Wuhan campus | Source: The Epoch Times







The unnamed worker said that Foxconn promised a $450 per month salary including overtime pay as part of a deal for workers who were forced to relocate from the company's main factory in Shenzhen to Wuhan, but employees have received only two-thirds that amount and need to endure poor working conditions.



Foxconn is no stranger to employee unrest, and was the subject of some controversy during a rash of suicides in 2010. The disturbing trend brought Chinese factory conditions to the fore and compelled large tech corporations like Apple to launch internal investigations of workplace conditions and employee compensation.



In response to the 2010 suicides, Foxconn promised to up wages by 20 percent and is looking into replacing a portion of its workforce with robots.

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Comments

  • fast fred 1fast fred 1 Posts: 294member
    ........and they get unlimited texing.........
  • ivladivlad Posts: 724member
    What will these people do when Foxconn replaces them all with robots?
  • gmcalpingmcalpin Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    What will these people do when Foxconn replaces them all with robots?



    Become technicians and fix the robots.
  • dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fast Fred 1 View Post


    ........and they get unlimited texing.........



    And a $10 iTunes gift card.





    [/joke]
  • andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    $450 a month salary and they were getting 2/3.



    Just think about the $450/month they would be happy with. Makes me feel lucky and blessed.
  • jungmarkjungmark Posts: 5,793member
    what does this have to do with Apple. if i'm not mistaken, this plant makes Xbox 360s.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,056member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


    what does this have to do with Apple. if i'm not mistaken, this plant makes Xbox 360s.



    Correct. Not that AI felt the need to point that out
  • kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,085member
    Hmm ... in a lot of U.S. labor conflicts, suicide might not be the strongest bargaining chip. Management might take them up on it ...
  • philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,285member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    Correct. Not that AI felt the need to point that out



    Actually, they did when they wrote that Microsoft is a client.
  • lkrupplkrupp Posts: 3,644member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


    what does this have to do with Apple. if i'm not mistaken, this plant makes Xbox 360s.



    Yep, and as expected, Microsoft is getting a complete pass on this at C|net. Barely a mention, only that Microsoft was "investigating" the situation. I also wonder why AI decided to drag Apple into this.
  • kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,085member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


    what does this have to do with Apple. if i'm not mistaken, this plant makes Xbox 360s.



    Aha ... a new set of evil American exploiters to blame ... profiting from the backbreaking labor of the citizens of the people's industrial paradise ...
  • rothgarrrothgarr Posts: 56member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    What will these people do when Foxconn replaces them all with robots?



    They'll never get replaced with robots. Human employees in China are WAY cheaper than robots. That's why more than 2/3 of all goods manufactured today are "hand-made".
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Americans will at most walk in small concentric circles carrying home made sign with semi-clever quips on a sticks or simply invade some public place, start a drum circles and take turns using the Starbuck's bathroom, but the the Chinese are hardcore.



    Seriously though, I can't even begin to imagine what these people go through if they think mass suicide is a viable solution.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rothgarr View Post


    They'll never get replaced with robots.



    Every job that does not require sentient problem solving or creative thought will eventually be replaced by a machine.
  • philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,285member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    I also wonder why AI decided to drag Apple into this.



    It's relevant since Steve flew out there to see what the problem was. As restrictive and secret as the company is, Steve talked a lot about 'behind the scenes' when interviewed.
  • mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 6,751member
    How come I'm not surprised the exterior of their manufacturing facilities are unfinished dumps?
  • bigmikebigmike Posts: 201member
    Foxconn makes tons of gadgets for many of the top world companies, not just Apple.

    No, they won't be using robots anytime soon. It's more cost-effective to have it done by hand, over there, in Shenzhen, China.

    Read and listen to this and you'll gain a little more insight.

    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radi...-apple-factory
  • philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,285member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigmike View Post


    Read and listen to this and you'll gain a little more insight.

    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radi...-apple-factory



    Hahaha! Now THAT is a link I appreciate. This podcast is funny! I'm only 10 minutes in it, but will listen to the entire hour. And that's just Act I, will listen to Act II as well. Thanks bigmike!
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,529member
    Let them jump. These workers are lucky that I'm not their employer. Is anybody forcing anybody to work there? Threatening mass suicide is a pathetic thing to do, and I would've let them try and do it, to see if they could back up their lame threat with action, and not just talk.



    This story is also kind of funny, because it's one of the few times where there is a story about Foxconn, and Apple has nothing to do with it.



    I remember reading about how the suicide rate at Foxconn was lower than that of the general population, so even with a mass suicide, and 50 Chinese offing themselves, it wouldn't have made that much of a difference, statistically speaking.
  • philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,285member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Let them jump. These workers are lucky that I'm not their employer. Is anybody forcing anybody to work there? Threatening mass suicide is a pathetic thing to do, and I would've let them try and do it, to see if they could back up their lame threat with action, and not just talk.



    This story is also kind of funny, because it's one of the few times where there is a story about Foxconn, and Apple has nothing to do with it.



    I remember reading about how the suicide rate at Foxconn was lower than that of the general population, so even with a mass suicide, and 50 Chinese offing themselves, it wouldn't have made that much of a difference, statistically speaking.



    What an awful thing to say!
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