Foxconn thinks their workers are animals. No, really.
Want China Times is reporting that the chairman of Hon Hai, parent company of Foxconn, invited the director of the Taipei Zoo, Chin Shih-chien, to talk about the management of animals. Foxconn, if you remember, is the company that manufactures all those pretty iPads, Xbox 360s and Nintendo Wiis.
"Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million worldwide and as human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache," Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou said.
Gou invited the zoo director to speak at the company’s annual review meeting. He also asked all of the general managers to listen to the lecture. He apparently wanted them to learn how to manage a wide variety of animals and their various quirks.
While Chin was lecturing, sharing his experiences at the zoo, Gou was attentive and listening carefully. He then asked Chin to put himself in his shoes as chairman which reportedly garnered laughter from the managers.
Even if the method was unorthodox and demeaning, Want China Times says that Gou was sincere as his company faces a crisis with handling their workers.
Foxconn has had trouble in the past with worker suicides and worker threats that even reportedly shut down the manufacturing of Xbox 360s during the mass suicide threat last week.
Want China Times says that China is no longer the cheap labor camp it once was and that companies like Hon Hai and Foxconn will have to work on bettering their work conditions for those workers who won’t take low wages and terrible conditions just to improve their family’s condition.
With more and more people in the West becoming aware of the sacrifices and conditions that people go through to make shiny new iPads and other gadgets, those changes may come sooner than later.