Foxconn workers halt production at iPhone plant

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Local and mainland Chinese universities’ students, dressed as the Foxconn workers, hold mock iPads with a skeleton print outside an Apple Premium Reseller shop in Hong Kong in this May 2011 file photo. AP

BEIJING—Foxconn Technology Group denied on Saturday that production was affected at a Chinese factory that makes Apple’s iPhones, although both state media and an overseas labor watch group said some workers halted production lines on Friday, apparently over higher quality control standards.

New York-based China Labor Watch reported that 3,000 to 4,000 workers at the Foxconn plant in the central China’s Zhengzhou city went on strike Friday over increased quality control demands and having to work during an extended 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.

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.

Foxconn said there were two isolated, small-scale disputes between production line workers and quality assurance personnel on Monday and Tuesday, but it added that they were quickly addressed. It did not specify what issues had caused the disputes but said immediate measures were taken to resolve the problems, including adding production line workers.

Xinhua said some workers were unhappy when Apple strengthened quality inspections of the iPhone 5 following consumer complaints regarding aesthetic flaws in the phone. In the Xinhua report, the spokesman — who was not named — characterized the incident as a worker-management dispute instead of a strike and was unable to provide a specific number of workers involved.

China Labor Watch said several iPhone 5 production lines at the factory were paralyzed after the workers found the new quality control demands difficult to meet and went on strike. The group said the workers also were angry about being forced to work through China’s National Day Golden Week holiday, which ends Sunday.

The iPhone 5, the latest in the line of the smartphones, debuted in September.

Foxconn said its employees in China who worked during the holiday did so voluntarily and were being paid three times their normal pay, in accordance with Chinese labor law.

China Labor Watch said workers also beat quality control inspectors, who carried out their own work stoppage after management ignored their complaints.

According to China Labor Watch, Apple and Foxconn had imposed stricter quality standards regarding indentations and scratches on the frames and back covers of the iPhones but did not provide workers with proper training to meet the new demands.

Apple could not be reached immediately for comment.

In late September, a brawl involving 2,000 workers broke out at Foxconn’s factory in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan, highlighting chronic labor tensions in a country that prohibits independent unions.

Labor activists have said the rollout of the iPhone 5 has led to longer working hours and more pressure on workers.

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  • divictes

    Junk iPhone it’s made in China. No wonder iPhone5’s maps sucks they’re Chinese ancient maps!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VDMUJ6NKKCLWRMVMJRLJFI633I Rene V

    you pay your workers next to nothing then you get next to nothing quality. why celebrate May 1 at all china?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAB42FXZYNCU3ODZNRCDRDTGAY MORE HUMAN

    di cguro makaintindi ng ingles… kaya.. yan problema na…

  • maria eunice cerbo

    Transfer  to the Philippines…

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/U46CFYPI6CU7RPUR2WGE4GT6OQ ricci

      That I agree..

      • http://www.vhortex.com Vhortex Morpheus

        That is a dream, as long as the Lopez controlled Meralco and the over charging Lopez bought power plants are still under the “Kumpare umbrella”, investors will think twice to invest here.

        Early this year, Meralco was caught twice overcharging and to refund the excess charges, they increase their per kilowatt charge,  and quarter this year, Meralco was caught double charging for years, to refund the double charges, there are going to increase charges this month or the following month.

        No wonder those who stay here and still invest built their own power generation plants. Maintaining your own power generating plant as an investor/company is way cheaper than paying Meralco.

        To gain around 25Megawatts of power if self produced will cost roughly 2-3 million pesos. Paying this to Meralco will cost you more than 10x the total cost if you produced them yourselves. Meralco power also fluctuates which the line men denies happening.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/U46CFYPI6CU7RPUR2WGE4GT6OQ ricci

        hi vhortex. i agree too. i have made an online proposition for asian countries to submit a copy of their elec. bills to me. kasi gusto ko talga i prove na napakalaki ng power rates here sa phils.
        i worked in a manufacturing co. before, totoo yan na they use gensets to power their business. back up lang ang meralco.

        libre lang naman mangarap, but we have to face the facts sometimes. intl businesses know about this already. diskarte na lang.

      • http://www.vhortex.com Vhortex Morpheus

        Companies where I have connections and where I also worked as eng’r, Meralco power is only used to power office lights and the vending machines. The rest are self produced power.

        Hindi masamang mangarap, pero as long as people keeps on voting and blindly follow those corrupt (pretending clean) officials/candidates, everything will be a dream.

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