Up to 4,000 Foxconn workers strike in iPhone 5 factory

The workers have been asked for higher standards without adequate training, according to a report.

As many as 4,000 workers have gone on strike over working conditions in the factory that produces the iPhone 5, The Guardian reports.

The workers walked out of Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory on Friday, according to China Labor Watch, a labour rights group. The reason? They claim Foxconn and Apple had made increasing demands on product quality, without giving the workers the necessary training, as well as forcing them to work through a public holiday.

It's the latest of many factory-line disputes at Foxconn. A few weeks ago, the company had to close a plant in Taiyuan after a mass brawl broke out , involving around 2,000 workers. Foxconn has previously been investigated over working conditions .

"Foxconn raised overtly strict demands on product quality without providing worker training for the corresponding skills," China Labor Watch said in a statement. "This led to workers turning out products that did not meet standards, and ultimately put a tremendous amount of pressure on workers."

This increased pressure led to more scuffles on the factory floor, which Foxconn ignored, according to China Labor Watch.

"Additionally, quality control inspectors fell into to [sic] conflicts with workers and were beaten up multiple times by workers. Factory management turned a deaf ear to complaints about these conflicts and took no corrective measures."

Most involved in the strike were from the quality control line, according to the report, and their absence left iPhone 5 production lines paralysed for the entire day.

The iPhone 5 is far from perfect. Customers have complained about design flaws, such as scuffs appearing on the black model and a purple fringing effect on the camera. Apple's marketing supremo Phil Schiller replied to one customer saying the scuffing was perfectly normal .

Shipping times currently stand at three to four weeks for an iPhone 5, and these could be longer unless the strike is resolved soon.

Should companies like Apple pay more attention to what's going on in the factories where their products are made? Let me know what you reckon in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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