iPhone 5 production at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory hit by strike


The US based China Labor Watch (CLW) said that a strike occurred at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory that, according to workers, involved three to four thousand production workers.

According to a CLW press statement, in addition to demanding that workers work during the holiday, 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 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.

“The majority of workers who participated in this strike were workers from the OQC (onsite quality control) line. According to workers, multiple iPhone 5 production lines from various factory buildings were in a state of paralysis for the entire day”. It said.

It was reported that factory management and Apple, despite design defects, raised strict quality demands on workers, including indentations standards of 0.02mm and demands related to scratches on frames and back covers. With such demands, employees could not even turn out iPhones that met the standard. This led to a tremendous amount of pressure on workers. On top of this, they were not permitted to have a vacation during the holiday. This combination of factors led to the strike.

That quality control inspectors would also strike is of no surprise. 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.

CLW Executive Director Li Qiang said, “This strike is a result of the fact that these workers just have too much pressure.”

From October 1-8, it is the national Holiday in China. Foxcom required workers in the ZhengZhou Factory to work during this time to meet the production demand of iphone 5. On October 5th, workers from the OQC (onsite quality control) line went to the factory and then left due to the conflicts. Foxcom denied that these workers strike. However, according to the workers, they went on strike instead of not volunteering to work overtime. October 5th is a holiday, the workers are paid 3 times their normal pay. These workers went back to work on Saturdy.

According to the information provided to CLW by 3 workers at Foxconn Zhengzhou. On October 5, at the beginning, over 300 quality inspectors refused to swipe their cards and go to work in the morning. Later on, quality inspectors from 3 branch factories start to participate in the strike. The workers told us that there are around 100 quality inspectors per production workshop, and more than 70 production workshops were involved.

At the peak of the incident, around 3000-4,000 workers participated in the strike.  Later on, the company authorities get involved and promised they would deal with their requests seriously, but they did not provide any detailed measures. Some of these workers went back to work, and some of them continued the strike. On the second day, the factory announced that anyone who is absent from work will be fired immediately. Most of the workers went back to work. Some of the workers left the factory.