Foxconn, one of the main manufacturing companies utilized by Apple as well as most of the top electronics companies went on strike to protest their working conditions around the new iPhone 5.
Several thousand employees left the job and began fistfights with their managers and bosses. This came at a time where a shortage of the new iPhone 5 brought upon a new urgency for Foxconn to produce more of the intricate phone.
Apple has had its share of bad publicity with Foxconn before when reports came out about its higher than average suicide rate of employees. Recently, reports have come out about the new working lifestyle that the employees undergo.
When a manufacturing defect with the new iPhone 5’s screen was sorted out at around midnight, employees were roused from their sleep in the employees’ dorms. They were given a cup of tea and a biscuit and told to start a 12-hour shift within a half hour. Within 96 hours, they were back to producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.
Now Apple approves of this type of manufacturing and purposefully selects the Chinese factory, according to a former executive, due to their “flexible working conditions” that is “unparalleled in American factories.” And although this strike right now involves only 4,000 workers and is only a small fraction of their entire workforce, it reminds all of us tech-consumers here in developed countries that the technology has a much longer road than just the line at the store.