Workers putting together Apple’s latest iPhone in one of Foxconn’s plants in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China still face “deplorably harsh working conditions” according to a new report published today.

The 10-page report entitled “New iPhone, old abuses,” by the Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), claims that workers at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility are still being forced to work overtime and experiencing numerous working violations.

The report, like others the group has put out in the past, is based on offsite interviews with workers at Foxconn factories. This time it’s 60 workers from Zhengzhou during the first week of September 2012.

Listed among the chief findings is excessive overtime that adds “between 80-100 hours” a month of overtime (some of which is not paid, the report says); subcontracted workers that may not have insurance; difficulty striking or organizing a union; frequent contact with strong chemicals; and relocation to other Foxconn facilities without knowledge of when they can return to their original location.


CNET, "Watchdog Group Once Again Blasts Foxconn, Apple Over Labor."

Cue fellow bloggers wondering why I’m posting this on a day when every single media outlet is offering wall-to-wall coverage of people standing in line for a $200-and-up toy instead.

Robots are stealing iPhone 6 assembly jobs from humans at Foxconn manufacturing facilities

Foxconn is on an iPhone 6-related hiring spree, but the giant Apple supplier isn’t only looking for human workforceIT Home reports that Foxconn may rely on some 10,000 robots to make Apple’s 2014 iPhone models, in addition to humans, with each machine capable of building up to 30,000 units per year, for a theoretical total of 300 million iPhones per year.

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Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles Apple’s iPhones and makes components for top global electronics companies, closed a plant in China on Monday after about 2,000 workers were involved in a brawl at a company dormitory.

It was not clear how long the shutdown would last at the plant, which employs about 79,000 people in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan, while police and company officials investigate the cause of the disturbance.

Foxconn said the trouble started with a personal row that blew up into a brawl. But some people posting messages on a Twitter-like site said factory guards had beaten workers and that sparked the melee.

"The plant is closed today for investigation," Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo told Reuters. An employee contacted by telephone said the closure could last two or three days.

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Tech Talk: iPhone 5

Critics of the iPhone 5 come face to face with Foxconn factory workers on SNL

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Foxconn to speed up 'robot army' deployment; 20,000 robots already in its factories


June 26, 2013, 10:20 AM — Manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group is on track with its goal to a create a “million robot army”, and already has 20,000 robotic machines in its factories, said the company’s CEO Terry Gou on Wednesday.

Workers’ wages in China are rising, and so the company’s research in robots and automation has to catch up, Gou said, while speaking at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting in Taipei. “We have over 1 million workers. In the future we will add 1 million robotic workers,” he said. “Our [human] workers will then become technicians and engineers.”

[read more] [via fefe]


The People’s Record Daily News Update - Whose news? Our news!

November 8, 2012 

Here are some stories you may not otherwise hear about today:

  • Farm workers in South Africa set fire to vineyards in protest of what they call “hunger wages”. They use the term “hunger wages” to describe the conditions they are forced to endure; they cannot afford to feed themselves and are expected to accept a low standard of living while spending most of their productive energy as manual workers. The workers have indicated that they will continue to struggle against their oppression until a better standard of living becomes available.

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Under intense scrutiny from the Fair Labor Association, Apple’s Chinese supplier has revised its labor policies, including changes to its internship program "to ensure that the job relates to the intern’s field of study" and that interns’ "skills before and after" are measured "to document the benefits of the training." And the company is also said to have taken measures to ensure fair wages and prevent 40-plus-hour work weeks. Now one of the paragons of bad labor practices is treating interns better than most U.S. companies.

Are Foxconn Internships Now Better Than American Internships?

There are many reasons the zombie, sprung from the colonial slave economy, is returning now to haunt us. Of course, the zombie is scary in a primordial way, but in a modern way, too. He’s the living dead, but he’s also the inanimate animated, the robot of industrial dystopias. He’s great for fascism: one recent zombie movie (and there have been many) was called “The Fourth Reich.” The zombie is devoid of consciousness and therefore unable to critique the system that has entrapped him. He’s labor without grievance. He works free and never goes on strike. You don’t have to feed him much. He’s a Foxconn worker in China; a maquiladora seamstress in Guatemala; a citizen of North Korea; he’s the man, surely in the throes of psychosis and under the thrall of extreme poverty, who, years ago, during an interview, told me he believed he had once been a zombie himself.


Foxconn founder personally overseeing iPhone 6 production to ensure the biggest launch

Apple is without question Foxconn’s largest and most important client. The China-based electronics manufacturing giant has seen its revenue skyrocket since it began building iPhones and iPads for Apple, and 2014 will seemingly be the biggest year yet for the iPhone, with two new models set to debut and as many as 80 million units on order.

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Eva Dou on the news that Apple is shifting more of its manufacturing business to Foxconn rival Pegatron:

Executive changes at Apple have also made a difference. Mr. Jobs had been easier at forgiving his favorite manufacturing partner, according to several people familiar with the relationship. Now, instead of relying on the uniquely close partnership between “two leaders with a hero complex”—as one of the people said—Mr. Cook is putting a greater premium on risk diversification, they said.

How many times have you heard that Steve Jobs was more “forgiving” than Tim Cook? Not a lot.


Pegatron Corp., named after the flying horse Pegasus, will be the primary assembler of a low-cost iPhone expected to be offered later this year.

Why am I way more excited about the Pegasus name-drop than the low-cost iPhone name-drop?