Surprise. More tough times at Foxconn. Last week, 4,000 workers were on strike amid “strict demands on product quality without providing worker training for the corresponding skills.” On top of that, they couldn’t take vacation during the week’s long national holiday.
Why? Apple’s iPhone 5 has some problems, like scuffs and scratches right of the box. Until now Apple’s never had design or quality issues on its devices. It happened this time because demand for the iPhone 5 was so strong, Foxconn’s workers had to put in more time than usual — which is saying a lot — meet it. When you’re not paid a whole lot to do robot-like work, quality control can be a challenge.
Especially if you’re job at Foxconn is to be a Quality Control inspector. At the end of the week, work was stopped after several of them were beaten up after arguments on the assembly line.
Company officials promised striking workers that they will address their complaints, reported the website China Labor. The next day, Foxconn announced that anyone skipping work would be fired immediately. Some stayed, some left.
Apple hasn’t released any comment about the iPhone 5’s quality issues, although there have been user complaints on some forums and some returns.
This week, Bloomberg reported that Foxconn tightened the iPhone 5’s quality standards. The downside is that now it will take longer to produce each unit. Some workers told the news service that the iPhone 5 is more delicate and easier to scratch during assembly. So for those on the line, the pressure’s has intensified once again.