Foxconn Technology Group, the Taiwan-based manufacturing company that produces Apple's iPhones, is refuting reports of a large-scale employee strike and claiming production for the new iPhone 5 remains in full swing.
According to a report from Reuters, Foxconn is denying reports that surfaced this weekend of a 3,000- to 4,000-worker strike erupting at its Zhengzhou plant in central China. The strike, which was first reported Friday by China Labor Watch, a New York-based advocacy group, was said to stem from worker frustration with strict quality assurance procedures for the new iPhone 5, along with being asked to work through China's weeklong National Day holiday.
Foxconn, however, denied the reports of a strike, and said the Zhengzhou facility only suffered two brief disputes earlier last week.
"Any reports that there has been an employee strike are inaccurate," the company said in an emailed statement to Reuters, also claiming "there has been no workplace stoppage in that facility or any other Foxconn facility and production has continued on schedule."
The initial report of the strike from China Labor Watch on Friday alleged that Foxconn is demanding "overly strict" quality assurance processes for Apple's latest iPhone and putting "a tremendous amount of pressure on workers." The new quality assurance standards were said to be jointly established by both Apple and Foxconn management to ensure the new iPhone 5 isn't as susceptible to scratches on its display and back cover.
In addition to denying the strike, Foxconn dismissed reports of employees having to work over China's National Day holiday, claiming that any employees working during these days are doing so voluntarily, and, in exchange, will be paid nearly three times their hourly wages.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reports of the strike in Zhengzhou come just two weeks after Foxconn was forced to temporarily shut down another of its manufacturing plants in Taiyuan, China, after nearly 2,000 employees broke out in a riot, sparked by a brawl between several workers.
Foxconn, which also produces tech products for OEMs including Dell and Motorola, has been under fire for years because of its alleged violation of fair labor laws. Apple CEO Tim Cook visited China in March to meet with Foxconn workers and has since launched a series of audits alongside the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to further investigate Foxconn's conditions.
PUBLISHED OCT. 8, 2012