Just when you thought the drama at Foxconn factories was slowing, China Labor Watch has reported today that approximately 3,000 to 4,000 workers at one of Foxconn’s factories in Zhengzhou went on strike. The reason for the strike has to do with Foxconn increasing their quality control standards in producing Apple’s iPhone 5.
According to workers, multiple iPhone 5 production lines from various factory buildings were in a state of paralysis for the entire day. It was reported that factory management and Apple, despite design defects, raised strict quality demands on workers, 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. This led to a tremendous amount of pressure on workers. On top of this, they were not permitted to have a vacation during the holiday. This combination of factors led to the strike.
CLW Executive Director Li Qiang said, “This strike is a result of the fact that these workers just have too much pressure.” Too much pressure is right! A lot of the workers were not even properly trained to meet the standards Foxconn needs to meet, and as such it is no wonder conflicts are beginning to rise.
According to workers regular fights break out within the factory between themselves and quality control inspectors. These fights and issues with quality control are currently being ignored by management.
There was a fight between workers and quality control inspectors in area K that led to the damage in inspection room CA, the injury of some people, and the hospitalization of others. After this, another similar incident occurred in area K, once again leading to quality control inspectors getting beat up.
Although Foxconn has been taking efforts to follow the advice given by the Fair Labor Association, it is obviously not enough, and the effects of treating their employees poorly as definitely starting to show. At this point in time it is unclear whether or not this strike will affect iPhone 5 supplies, but it was reported that right now production lines are paralyzed.