2nd labor protest stops iPhone production

The New York-based China Labor Watch has reported

The New York-based China Labor Watch has reported that 3,000 to 4,000 workers at a Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou city went on strike Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, over increased demands and having to work during an extended national holiday. This is a recruitment station in Shenzhen in southern China. Photo Credit: AP, 2010

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Foxconn Technology Group, the assembler of Apple Inc. iPhones, had to stop production for the second time in as many weeks after factory-line workers at one of its plants protested against increased pressure.

Foxconn employs more than 1 million workers in China and has suffered in the past three years from suicides, riots and strikes.

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To improve working conditions, chairman Terry Gou raised pay and allowed inspections by outside observers. The employees, who work as many as 12 hours a day, say the difficulties of meeting Apple's demands for quality and abuse from guards set off the latest incidents.

One of the company's factories in Zhengzhou, China, lost two shifts on Oct. 5 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 at the factory, the company said.

Some 3,000 to 4,000 people who walked off the job at the plant have since returned to work, according to advocacy group China Labor Watch.

-- Bloomberg News

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