Foxconn denies factory labor strike reports

Says iPhone production not at risk – honest!


Foxconn has denied reports that a mass strike last week shut down its Zhengzhou, China factory, one of two Chinese plants where the Taiwanese manufacturing giant assembles Apple's latest iPhone.

On Friday, New York–based labor rights group China Labor Watch had claimed that as many as 4,000 workers had walked off the job at the Zhengzhou plant over disputes between line workers and quality-control employees.

But on Saturday, Hon Hai, the parent company of Foxconn, issued a statement denying that there had been any significant work stoppage in Zhengzhou or any other Foxconn facility, and that all of its operations for Apple and other customers were proceeding on schedule.

"We can confirm that there were two disputes between a small group of production line workers and Quality Assurance personnel at our manufacturing facility in Zhengzhou, China on Oct. 1 and 2 but these incidents were isolated incidents," the statement read.

Hon Hai said that the conflicts arose because of "an emotional standoff" between the two groups, but claimed that managers took immediate steps to resolve the problem.

"After we addressed the issues, people on the day shift resumed work, and there was basically no impact on the production lines," the statement said.

Also on Saturday, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported Foxconn representatives as saying that no more than 400 employees failed to report for work in the incidents, and that they were all back at their jobs within two hours, rather than the eight hours that had previously been reported.

China Labor Watch had also claimed that tensions were high at the Zhengzhou plant in part because workers had been forced to work through the annual Golden Week holiday, something else Hon Hai has denied.

"Employees who have worked during the China national holidays at all our operations in China have done so voluntarily and this is supported by written documentation and any reports to the contrary are inaccurate," the company's statement said, adding that laborers who did work through the holiday were paid triple their normal wages, in keeping with Chinese labor law.

For its part, China Labor Watch is standing by its original claims. In an updated report, the group says that although the work stoppage started with around 300 quality control inspectors, that number soon swelled to 3,000 or more across some 70 production workshops.

Furthermore, China Labor Watch says that the strike only ended on its second day, when Foxconn management announced that anyone who was absent from work would be fired immediately.

Apple has issued no statement regarding the matter, and neither it nor Foxconn could be reached for comment. ®


Other stories you might like

  • AI tool finds hundreds of genes related to human motor neuron disease

    Breakthrough could lead to development of drugs to target illness

    A machine-learning algorithm has helped scientists find 690 human genes associated with a higher risk of developing motor neuron disease, according to research published in Cell this week.

    Neuronal cells in the central nervous system and brain break down and die in people with motor neuron disease, like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the baseball player who developed it. They lose control over their bodies, and as the disease progresses patients become completely paralyzed. There is no currently no verified cure for ALS.

    Motor neuron disease typically affects people in old age and its causes are unknown. Johnathan Cooper-Knock, a clinical lecturer at the University of Sheffield in England and leader of Project MinE, an ambitious effort to perform whole genome sequencing of ALS, believes that understanding how genes affect cellular function could help scientists develop new drugs to treat the disease.

    Continue reading
  • Need to prioritize security bug patches? Don't forget to scan Twitter as well as use CVSS scores

    Exploit, vulnerability discussion online can offer useful signals

    Organizations looking to minimize exposure to exploitable software should scan Twitter for mentions of security bugs as well as use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System or CVSS, Kenna Security argues.

    Better still is prioritizing the repair of vulnerabilities for which exploit code is available, if that information is known.

    CVSS is a framework for rating the severity of software vulnerabilities (identified using CVE, or Common Vulnerability Enumeration, numbers), on a scale from 1 (least severe) to 10 (most severe). It's overseen by First.org, a US-based, non-profit computer security organization.

    Continue reading
  • Sniff those Ukrainian emails a little more carefully, advises Uncle Sam in wake of Belarusian digital vandalism

    NotPetya started over there, don't forget

    US companies should be on the lookout for security nasties from Ukrainian partners following the digital graffiti and malware attack launched against Ukraine by Belarus, the CISA has warned.

    In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it "strongly urges leaders and network defenders to be on alert for malicious cyber activity," having issued a checklist [PDF] of recommended actions to take.

    "If working with Ukrainian organizations, take extra care to monitor, inspect, and isolate traffic from those organizations; closely review access controls for that traffic," added CISA, which also advised reviewing backups and disaster recovery drills.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022