Foxconn to Replace Sweatshop Workers with Robots
Foxconn to 'Hire' 1 Million Robots
Foxconn, the Chinese electronics contract manufacturer best known for assembling iPhones and iPads, is aiming to increase its automated workforce: in three years, Foxconn hopes to grow from 10,000 robots to one million.
This would mean that Foxconn's human workforce would be facing layoffs: the company is not planning to double its size in such a short amount of time. Foxconn is what you would call a sweatshop: workers performing menial tasks for long hours under poor conditions with low pay. There were 10 suicides at Foxconn in the first half of 2010 alone. Foxconn's response was to erect safety netting, rather than address labor issues.
Last month, three workers were killed in an explosion at a Foxconn plant.
Foxconn primarily assembles products for companies such as Apple, Sony, Huawei, and Nokia.
Where will those hands who once snapped our plastic geegaws together go once the robots arrive? Probably to the unemployment line, which is another matter entirely. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that, but any time serious labor savings have been applied to mass manufacturing it hasn’t ended well. Just ask Detroit.