Labor disputes halt production at Foxconn for second time

  • Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles Apple's iPhones and components for top global electronics companies, has had to stop production for the second time in as many weeks after factory workers protested against increased pressure.

    The employees, who often work daily 12-hour shifts, say the difficulties of meeting Apple’s demands for quality and abuse from guards triggered the latest incidents.

    One of the company’s factories in Zhengzhou lost two shifts this week after workers became frustrated trying to prevent scratching on the casings of the iPhone 5, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    A dispute occurred between the production and quality teams. Some 3,000 to 4,000 people who walked off have since returned to work, according to advocacy group China Labor Watch.

    The protest is the latest in a string of incidents at plants run by Foxconn. In recent months, the company has faced allegations of poor working conditions at its operations in China, where it employs a total of about 1 million people.

    To improve conditions, Chairman Terry Gou increased pay and allowed inspections by outside observers.