October 8, 2012
Business As Usual – iPhone Factory Foxconn Denies Disruption Rumors
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Representatives from a Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company are denying reports that workers have gone on strike and have been disrupting the facility's production of the Apple iPhone.According to Associated Press (AP) reporter Didi Tang, China Labor Watch of New York had reported that between 3,000 and 4,000 workers at the Foxconn Technology Group plant in Zhengzhou went on strike Friday, reportedly because of stricter quality control standards and the requirement that they work during a national holiday.
"The official Xinhua News Agency, quoting a spokesman for the management committee of the Xinzheng Comprehensive Bonded Area where the plant is located, said some production lines were halted Friday when workers persuaded quality inspectors to skip work to show their dissatisfaction over higher quality standards," Tang said. "In a written statement issued Saturday, the Taiwan-based electronic manufacturer Foxconn said production at the Zhengzhou plant continued without interruption. It denied any strike or work stoppage."
However, on Sunday, Bloomberg News, citing unidentified sources familiar with the labor issues, reported that the company "lost two shifts on Oct. 5 after workers became frustrated trying to prevent scratching on the casings of the iPhone 5...A dispute occurred between the production and quality teams at the factory, the company said."
Foxconn had also been forced to shut down operations on Oct.1 and Oct. 2, two incidents that were confirmed by the company. They called those work stoppages "isolated incidents" that were "immediately addressed," but had no comment in regards to the alleged Oct. 5 work stoppage.
Furthermore, Foxconn representatives called rumors that there was an employee strike at the plant "inaccurate" and said that production was "on schedule," according to Damon Poeter of PCMag.
In regards to reports that the company refused to allow employees to take an extended holiday to celebrate China's National Day, the company countered that those who did work were volunteers who were receiving triple their ordinary pay rate for their service.
The latest controversy is far from the only one surrounding Foxconn facilities. Last month, a brawl involving 2,000 workers at a facility in northern China shut down the assembly line, but also saw 40 employees require hospitalization and required security teams dressed in riot gear to quell the uprising, according to Bloomberg.
Previously, the plants have been accused of having employees work too many overtime hours and forcing them to work in unsafe conditions, Poeter added. Those accusations led Apple to conduct an internal audit of the factories.