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Apple Supplier Foxconn Forces Employees To Work During Holiday

"Overly strict demands on product quality."

Production on the iPhone 5 was temporarily halted last week when workers went on strike at Foxconn, the Chinese company which builds hardware for Apple and many others including Sony, Microsoft, Acer, Nokia, Amazon, Nintendo and Toshiba.

The employees were protesting as Foxconn was was forcing them to work during a national holiday week in China. The workers were also upset at “overly strict demands on product quality” on the production lines that assemble iPhones. There are reports that fights have broken out between workers and quality control inspectors.

GamesIndustry.Biz reports that the strike originated at Foxconn’s Zhengshou factory but soon spread to three other facilities.  Between 3,000 and  4,000 employees were protesting but they went back to work when Foxconn said they would fire anyone who continued to strike.

This year has already seen multiple occurrences of riots at the Foxconn plants, but hey, extra line of icons, eh? Go upgrade to the new iPhone, buy a new Kindle, order a Dell laptop: it’s not like you’re hurting anyone.

Source: GIBiz

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26 Comments
  1. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    I do want a Kindle Fire HD….

    Foxconn is horrible, they’ve got anti-suicide nets to stop their employees killing themselves by jumping. But none of the brands want to stand up against them as they build their products, cheap.

    Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 19:45.
  2. bmg_123
    Member
    Since: Feb 2012

    There’s the argument here that if companies ‘stood up’ to Foxconn, products would immediately become more expensive due to the increased worker wage etc.
    And I say bollocks to that; profit margins matter far too much to these companies; people won’t buy their products at a premium (besides Apple, it seems) and so the issue is resolved with either better working conditions for these people or a slight drop in profit-per-device. Even companies like Apple and Samsung, who earn a consistently large profit from their mobile products, don’t do anything to prevent events like this. No matter how much companies like Apple pretend to care, ‘it’s all business’ at the end of the day.

    Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 20:02.
  3. KeRaSh
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    While the whole Apple/Foxconn debacle is very interesting I fail to see the relevance of this story to TSA. Sure, the iPhone is a relevant gaming platform but I don’t see any news about IBM or other manufacturers that provide relevant parts of game consoles…
    I understand there are iPhone aficionados at TSA but where do you draw the line? Might as well start posting about flagship Android devices…

    Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 20:06.
    • Murdo
      In no way connected to TSA. No way.
      Since: Sep 2008

      I had the same thought.
      Covering huge hardware releases or games makes sense but is TSA moving to Tech news now? Should The Verge watch out?

      Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 20:09.
      • maney911
        Member
        Since: Oct 2012

        I don’t understand why people complain when something that isn’t about video games is posted on this site. I understand that the site is primarily about video games but I remember when this site was basically a trophy list site. The sixth axis is still young and still growing, I personally welcome news articles that are only tenuously linked to video games. I used the word site a lot there. :)

        Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 20:25.
      • Alex C
        One for all.
        Since: Forever

        It was never just a trophy list. Sure, the list was important, but the site was going for well over a year before that.

        As for this news? No comment.

        Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 20:34.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Like I said: Where do you draw the line? People come here for gaming news. If I want to read tech news I visit The Verge or Engadget. The occasional tech article could potentionally expand into tech news in general and that would dilute the gaming aspect of this site.

        Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 20:40.
      • colmshan1990
        Member
        Since: Apr 2009

        Did you complain about the Sony suing Jerry Lambert, or Microsoft thinking they own a number articles?

        Apple, like it or not (I don’t) are now a major gaming name with iOS. Time to deal with it. Imagine this was Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo instead of Apple.

        Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 21:31.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        The thing is, Apple is only loosely linked to the happenings here. The news is about Foxconn and their employees having to work during holidays. Sony and Microsoft suing someone directly (over games, although falsely – or ads that contain gaming) has much more to do with gaming than a manufacturer that produces and assembles parts of a device that also plays games.
        Imagine this was a manufacturing plant that produces IBM chips for Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo. I’m pretty sure it would not have gotten a whole article to itself.
        These issues at Foxconn have absolutely no impact on gaming whatsoever. The iPhone was just released and there are always shortages directly after the release. People having to wait a week longer for their iDevice is not going to make a difference…
        Just saying…

        Comment posted on 09/10/2012 at 07:53.
    • Awayze
      Member
      Since: Jul 2010

      Lol iOS is a gaming platform, GameCenter, achievements etc. Android isn’t.

      I do agree, articles like this are pointless on a Gaming site but it’s not our site. Me buying an iPhone isn’t hurting anyone, it’s the Chinese government’s fault they work so hard.

      Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 20:50.
      • DJ Judas
        Epic
        Since: Aug 2008

        I don’t know about everyone else, but achievements aren’t on my list of requirements for being a gaming platform. They’re a great addition but I hate that this generation has introduced them as a “requirement”.

        Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 23:04.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        If I got a nickel eveytime you made a dumb, fanboyish statement on this website…

        Comment posted on 09/10/2012 at 07:55.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        Last time i checked, Android is a gaming platform. Plus foxconn does manfacture 360s and PS3s so tis relevant. Apple is responsible for encouraging foxconn to treat their workers like shit by continuing to do bussiness with them and not trying to get foxconn to change their attitude towards the workers. That said, one could argue it’s not in their best interests to interefer. Same with Sony and MS.

        Comment posted on 09/10/2012 at 11:49.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      Foxconn also manufacture PS3s and 360s, so it’s very relevant.

      Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 20:56.
      • Murdo
        In no way connected to TSA. No way.
        Since: Sep 2008

        Funny you didn’t mention that bit but started the piece with comments on the iPhone 5.

        Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 21:32.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        That’s because the factory in question makes iPhones. Other plants make other devices.

        Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 21:38.
      • Murdo
        In no way connected to TSA. No way.
        Since: Sep 2008

        This could be relevant too: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/10/06/uk-apple-foxconn-idUKBRE8941JH20121006

        Foxconn’s statement:
        “Any reports that there has been an employee strike are inaccurate,” the company said in an emailed statement, adding that “there has been no workplace stoppage in that facility or any other Foxconn facility and production has continued on schedule”.

        Comment posted on 08/10/2012 at 21:45.
    • kjkg
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      Here’s an idea. Not interested? Don’t read. Simple. The “non gaming” news far outways the gaming so why care? Just let it be and let those that find it interesting read it and comment.

      Comment posted on 09/10/2012 at 13:17.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        That’s why I asked: Where do they draw the line?
        Will we be seeing more general tech news in the future? Is this a path TSA wants to go down? Like someone else noted, this is old news in tech land. Dedicated tech sites reported on this much earlier because they focus on these kinds of news and are better staffed to deal with tech news in general. TSA is great at gaming news. It would be a shame if they started to diversify too much and sacrifice quality in order to cover more news.

        Comment posted on 09/10/2012 at 13:40.
  4. damoxuk
    Member
    Since: May 2011

    I heard that they wasn’t “forced” to work but got paid 3 times to work the holiday.

    Damn I wish news sites check facts before posting (and being 2 days later doesn’t help :))

    Comment posted on 09/10/2012 at 08:51.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      That is Foxconns side of the story which was published after I had wrote this.

      Anything else you’d like to complain about before I put you over my knee and give you a good spanking for being cheeky?

      Comment posted on 10/10/2012 at 09:52.
      • damoxuk
        Member
        Since: May 2011

        I’m up for a spanking anyday of the week :)

        Comment posted on 10/10/2012 at 10:56.
  5. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    That is disgusting. Forcing someone to work who already works an unreasonable amount of hours (i think) and threatening to sack anyone who dares to strike. I would say that Apple and the other companies should force Foxconn to improve the worker’s wages and enviroment but they would refuse to pay more to get their products built. Plus instead of offering help, foxconn install a net to prevent suicides. I can see there being a riot in a year or two if Foxconn continues to treat their employees like shit.

    Comment posted on 09/10/2012 at 11:46.
  6. mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    I saw a new iPhone for the first time today, it’s truely an amazing example of design, so solid and light feeling. It’s a shame that good working enviroments don’t exist everywhere, but its a fact of life that other cultures do things differently, and lets be fair some employees and employers attitudes to work here in the UK are abysmally lazy and self serving and lessons could be learnt from the East. However, one thing we’ll probably never understand is Apple (and other MNC’s) relationships with their Eastern manufacturers and whether Western businesses truely and actively take advantage of so called slave labour just to fatten the profit margin. If the ‘Fair Trade’ campaign ever extends to the manufacturing industry I’ll be right behind it because I think thats what we need.

    Comment posted on 09/10/2012 at 12:47.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      With you all of the way on this one. How convenient that companies bang on about loyalty, etc., but will merrily outsource to a far cheaper country of manufacture then the consumers complain but won’t stump up the necessary readies to keep it “local”.

      Meh.

      Comment posted on 09/10/2012 at 22:10.
      • damoxuk
        Member
        Since: May 2011

        That’s why Apple is rich – as soon as China starts increasing wages as they are rapidly becoming more and more Capitalist they will find another place – probably somewhere like India for cheap labour.

        Comment posted on 10/10/2012 at 10:59.

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