Tag Archives: workers

Which Job Is Worse? Foxconn iPhone Factory Worker Or Human Urinal? [Infographic]


Although Apple has been taking unprecedented measures in the industry to remedy the problem, the truth is that working on an assembly line mass-producing iPhones just sucks. But how bad a job is building iPhones in the grand scheme of things?

The Worst Jobs in the World Matrix, from Lapham’s Quarterly, tries to put the craptitude of working at Foxconn in a broader historical perspective. As you can see, slaving away in an electronics factory for 300 hours per month for $0.76 an hour is a difficult job, but it’s far less disgusting than being a Roman vomitorium attendant, less tedious than being a World of Warcraft gold farmer, less treacherous than being a Japanese subway pusher, and less fatal than being the court food taster for a 16th-century emperor. Perspective, people!

Source: FastCo. Design

The post Which Job Is Worse? Foxconn iPhone Factory Worker Or Human Urinal? [Infographic] appeared first on Cult of Mac.


Unofficial Apple ‘union’ leader leaves the company tomorrow

Photo: Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Photo: Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Cory Moll, an Apple retail employee who founded an unofficial union for Apple Store staff, is leaving the company tomorrow, having apparently resigned.


Moll founded the ‘Apple Workers Union’ as a Facebook page and now-defunct website, describing it as “a movement of empowerment to bring change and improvement of working conditions to Apple’s retail stores” in response to what some employees felt to be low pay and limited opportunity for advancement.

Moll tweeted earlier today  that tomorrow would be his final day. In an email to 9to5Mac and others, he said:

I wanted to share that Friday, April 19 will be my last day at Apple. I’ve been in the service industry for 15 years, and at Apple since October 2007. I feel that the time has come to go explore the world, discover new opportunities and learn new skills. To those of you who’ve I’d had the pleasure to talk with about the Apple Workers movement, thank you for helping spread the word with your reporting. It’s truly helped bring change to Apple in the way that workers are treated and respected, both in our stores and also at our various worksites around the world.

It’s not known why Moll is leaving earlier than he’d initially indicated, but it’s likely due to him breaking a toe yesterday at work (accidentally, we assume …).


A follow-up tweet said that it “has been an amazing privilege to work with such awesome people. Enriching lives is what we do, and I feel mine has been enriched too.”

Despite Apple’s somewhat chequered record, with changes introduced by short-lived retail head John Browett later described as a “mistake,” Apple says that its year-on-year retail staff retention is 90%, a rate “unheard-of in the retail industry”.

It is expected that Moll will be ‘clapped out’ of the store, a tradition for long-standing employees leaving the company, where other staff in the store give them a round of applause as they leave the store for the last time.

See also: Inside ‘Apple Anonymous’: The Secret Society of Apple’s Retail Army

Future iOS Devices Could Be Built By Machines As Foxconn Replaces Workers With Robots

This “Foxbot” could soon be building Apple’s latest gadgets.

Apple gadgets you buy in the future may have been assembled by machines as Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner, Foxconn, begins replacing its workers with robots. The move is expected to improve efficiency in Foxconn’s Chinese plants, as well as combat rising labor costs.

Foxconn, who is China’s largest private-sector employer with more than 1.2 million workers, announced last year that it plans to replace one million humans with robots within the next three years. It has now begun that process with an initial batch of 10,000 machines that it has named “Foxbots.”

Another 20,000 robots are due by the end of the year, CNET reports. Each one costs between $20,000 and $25,000 each, which is said to be around three times the amount of the average Foxconn worker’s salary. While the initial cost of deploying Foxbots will be significant, they’re sure to save cash over time.

Foxconn has been scrutinized for its treatment of factory workers over the years, with underage employment, poor wages, illegal overtime, and worker suicides becoming a major issue throughout its plants. Before Foxconn announced its robot initiative last August, at least 16 workers had committed suicide since the beginning of 2010.

Apple has been working with the company throughout 2012 to improve the working conditions in its factories, however. The Cupertino company has also sought help from the Chinese Fair Labor Association, which has carried out inspections to highlight the areas in which Foxconn must improve.

Source: CNET

Foxconn CEO: We Can’t Keep Up With iPhone 5 Demand

Foxconn simply cannot keep up with iPhone demand.

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has revealed that dealing with Apple’s overwhelming iPhone demand is not an easy task. The company is still struggling to catch up with the strong sales the iPhone has been enjoying, but Gou would not confirm whether the group’s other unit, Foxconn International Holdings, has taken on some of its production.

“It’s not easy to make the iPhones. We are falling short of meeting the huge demand,” Gou told reporters after a business forum this week.

Gou has already acknowledged that the iPhone 5′s complex design makes it the most difficult product Foxconn has even assembled, while Apple’s decision to tighten quality control in its factories to prevent damaged devices from being sent out to customers has only exacerbated the supply constraints.

As things stand, the iPhone 5 delay still sits at 3-4 weeks on Apple’s online store, though it is easier to get hold of through Apple retail stores and carriers.

But it isn’t just the iPhone Foxconn has to worry about. The company also assembles Apple’s other iOS devices and its Macs, in addition to devices from Nokia, Sony, Nintendo, Dell, and many more. Foxconn International Holdings is the world’s biggest contract maker of cellphones, Yahoo! reports.

Source: Yahoo!

Foxconn Factory Closed After 2,000 Workers Brawl

The brawl resulted in broken windows at the Foxconn factory.

A Foxconn factory in Taiyuan, China — where many of Apple’s devices are assembled before being shipped — has had to be closed after 2,000 workers became involved in a “mass disturbance” on Sunday evening.

The fight reportedly broke out after a personal row involving workers from two different production lines, but messages posted to Chinese microblogging network Sina Weibo have claimed that the brawl was actually caused by factory guards beating Foxconn workers.

The plant employs around 79,000 employees, and is currently manufacturing the aluminum backplates for Apple’s hugely successful iPhone 5. But it has now been closed while police and company officials investigate the cause of the fights.

“The plant is closed today for investigation,” Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo told Reuters, while another employee said that it could remain closed for two to three days.

“The cause of this dispute is under investigation by local authorities and we are working closely with them in this process, but it appears not to have been work-related,” Foxconn said.

It is reported that 40 people were injured during the disturbance, which police had brought under control by 3 a.m. on Monday morning. Thankfully, it appears none of the injuries were life threatening.

Source: Reuters

Via: AppleInsider

Image: Reuters

Thousands Of Workers Apply For Summer Jobs Building New iPhones At Foxconn

The poor working conditions in Foxconn’s Chinese factories have been widely documented for some time now, but the reports have seemingly done very little to dissuade workers from applying for Foxconn jobs.

Thousands have reportedly turned up to the company’s Chengdu and Zhengzhou plants in the hope of securing a “summer job” that is likely to involve the assembly of Apple’s new iPhone, and possibly even an “iPad mini.”

According to M.I.C. Gadget, workers have flocked to the Chengdu plant in huge numbers to secure the summer jobs, which reportedly have just one requirement: applicants must have good eyesight.

The temporary workers are likely being brought in to ramp up production of Apple’s upcoming iOS devices. We know a new iPhone will be making its debut this fall, and if recent rumors are to be believed, it will be accompanied by a 7.85-inch iPad mini.

Sources claim that production of the new iPhone is on a very small scale right now, in a “trial production stage.” But it’s likely to go into overdrive as the device’s launch gets closer.

M.I.C. Gadget reported a similar situation at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant back in January. Lines of workers stretching 200 meters turned out to secure jobs at the plant, with Foxconn reportedly looking to add an additional 100,000 people to its workforce. The report stated that workers would start on a basic salary of 1650 yuan ($261), which could rise to 2400–3200 yuan ($379-$506) after appraisals.

Although the pay is low, Foxconn workers will live for free within the company’s dormitories, and all of their food is paid for. This is believed to be one of the reasons why the factories attract so many young workers.

Source: M.I.C. Gadget

Via: AppleInsider

Foxconn workers, activists claim no change at Apple plants following FLA audits

We reported earlier this month that Foxconn announced it would share the initial costs of improving iPhone and iPad assembly plants with Apple following an agreement to improve working conditions based on recommendations from the Fair Labor Association. Today, according to a report from Reuters, labor watchdog Student & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour released a report claiming Foxconn factories have not changed much since the FLA’s audits:

A fresh report released on Thursday by labor watchdog Student & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), based on visits to several Foxconn factories and 170 worker interviews, found rights violations “remain the norm” including high production targets, inhumane treatment and signs of overall salary cuts.

“The frontline management continue to impose humiliating disciplinary measures on workers,” it said.

“The above findings demonstrate that Apple and Foxconn have not turned over a new leaf,” the report added.

Even after recently raising wages of some workers by 16 to 25 percent, Reuters’ report claimed average overall salaries decreased and some “had to work unpaid overtime after pay hikes.” A Foxconn worker in Guanlan told Reuters: ”The work pressure is still great… There hasn’t been much change. We are still being pushed very hard.”

Foxconn responded to the SACOM report in a statement to Reuters:

“The welfare of our employees is without a doubt our top priority and we are working hard to give our more than one million employees in China a safe and positive working environment,”