Five-Thousand Foxconn Workers Strike Over the Weekend
A post on GamesIndustry reports that roughly 4,000 workers at four of Foxconn’s factories in China have gone on strike, resulting in iPhone 5 production to be halted. Reportedly, the strike stemmed from the fact that the manufacturer’s employees were being forced to report for work through the October 1 through October 8 holiday week in China, while quality control standards were being tightened simultaneously.
The strike started when quality control inspectors didn’t come to work during the holiday week, and lasted from Friday through Saturday, ending when the company said that anyone not reporting for work would be fired.
This is but the latest in a string of incidents involving the Chinese manufacturer behind nearly all of the most popular gadgets in the West. In addition to making Apple’s iPhones, Foxconn has contracts with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to manufacture their gaming consoles. Only a few weeks ago, 5,000 workers engaged in a violent riot over working conditions gripped the plant in Taiyuan, stopping work there. And earlier this year, 300 workers went to the roof of a plant, threatening mass suicide over conditions. Shortly after that incident, it was found that the company was violating international labor laws.
What does all of this mean for us gamers? It seems as though the age of incredibly inexpensive manufacturing in China is beginning to come to an end, meaning that prices to manufacture our most popular gadgets and tech devices will probably rise. The positive part of all this, though, is that the people who do the work we depend on will hopefully start to get a fairer shake, and companies might even bring manufacturing back to the United States, meaning more jobs and more pride in locally made products. We’ll see, though…