Last month, a riot broke out at Foxconn's Tiayuan facility over the alleged beating of a worker. The riot ended with 40 injuries and several arrests. At a different factory, the workers have went on strike to protest the unfair working conditions put on them by Foxconn and Apple.
According to China Labor Watch, up to four thousand workers at Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory have gone on strike. The workers are protesting the "overly strict demands on product quality without worker training" that has led to fights between general workers and the quality control team. Even worse, supervisors ignored the complaints from both workers and quality control.
The catalyst for the strike appears to be the strict new quality guidelines that Apple has put into place. The company now expects workers to turn out devices with indentations of 0.2mm and that not a single scratch be present on frames and back covers. The workers were already having a tough time meeting Apple's demands, but they soon found that they would not receive a vacation during the holiday.
The quality control workers have gone on strike to protest the harsh treatment they have received from workers. A fight broke out between the workers and the quality control team that led to injuries and some hospitalizations. Their strike has prevented the general workers from being able to contine with assembly, and multiple production lines have been stopped as a result.
The iPhone 5 is a truly marvelous device. That being said, people must remember the actual human effort that went into making the device. The consumer may appreciate Apple's high standards, but those same high standards are causing undue stress on the Chinese workers that assemble and inspect the devices.
Apple has repeatedly said that they are committed to improving the working conditions at Foxconn's factories, but it's looking like their efforts aren't doing much to stem the tide of riots and protests.