Detailed on Reuters earlier today, representatives with Foxconn released a statement denying the recent claim that thousands of workers went on strike over working conditions at one of the plants producing Apple’s iPhone 5. The previous report indicated that workers weren’t able to keep up with the stringent quality control standards which led to physical violence between workers and quality control inspectors. The previous report also indicated that Foxconn was forcing workers to continue producing iPhones and other electronics through China’s seven-day National Day holiday. More specifically, China’s Xinhua news organization published a quote from an official with the Zhengzhou government that stated over one hundred quality inspectors abstained from work for a short time on Friday due to a physical altercation with workers.
According to officials at the Foxconn Technology Group in Taiwan, two disputes at the plant in question did take place early in the week. However, these altercations didn’t result in a complete halt in the production line at the factory.
Regarding the previous report, Foxconn’s statement said “Any reports that there has been an employee strike are inaccurate. There has been no workplace stoppage in that facility or any other Foxconn facility and production has continued on schedule.” In addition, Foxconn management claims that additional staff was added to the production lines that were involved in the disputes.
Apple has not commented on these incidents at the Foxconn factories in China, but it’s highly possibly that customer reports of scratches and flaws on brand new models could have led to these disputes. A spokesman for the industrial area that contains the Foxconn plant in question said “The instruction to strengthen quality inspections for the iPhone 5 was given by Apple Inc. following multiple complaints from customers regarding aesthetic flaws in the phone.” Regarding the flaws in the iPhone 5 shipments, Apple VP Phil Schiller stated “Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal.”