Report: Over 3,000 Foxconn Workers on iPhone Production Line Go On Strike After New “Strict Demands”


Apple CEO Tim Cook tours Foxconn's Zhengzhou iPhone plant in March 2012 (Image source: Bloomberg)

Foxconn’s (LSE:HHPD; HKEX:2038; TPE:2354) plant in Zhengzhou, in central China’s Henan province, has been hit by a worker strike, according to China Labor Watch. The walk-out occurred on Friday at 1pm local time, “involved three to four thousand production workers” and therefore “multiple iPhone 5 production lines from various factory buildings were in a state of paralysis for the entire day.” It’s not clear if they have returned to work today, Saturday. The not-for-profit organization reports:

In addition to demanding that workers work during the holiday [China’s “golden week” from September 30th to October 7th], Foxconn raised overly strict demands on product quality without providing worker training for the corresponding skills. This led to workers turning out products that did not meet standards and ultimately put a tremendous amount of pressure on workers. Additionally, quality control inspectors fell into to conflicts [sic] with workers and were beat up multiple times by workers. Factory management turned a deaf ear to complaints about these conflicts and took no corrective measures. The result of both of these circumstances was a widespread work stoppage on the factory floor among workers and inspectors.

China Labor Watch details the physical altercations at the plant, which was visited by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook earlier this year:

According to workers, there was a fight between workers and quality control inspectors in area K that led to the damage in inspection room CA, the injury of some people, and the hospitalization of others. After this, another similar incident occurred in area K, once again leading to quality control inspectors getting beat up. Yesterday, inspectors in area L received physical threats. When inspectors reported these issues to factory management, the management simply ignored and turned their back on the issue. For these reasons, all day and night shift inspectors carried out a work stoppage today that paralyzed the production lines.