Foxconn Reportedly Utilizing Robots and Replacing Workers
Apple products that you buy in the future may very well be devices assembled by machines in Foxconn’s plants. The statement comes as Foxconn begins replacing its workers with robots with the move being made in order to improve efficiency at Foxconn’s Chinese plants, all while combatting rising labor costs at the same time.
The company, which is China’s largest private-sector employer with more than 1.2 million workers, made the announcement of replacing one million humans with robots with the next three years, last year. Foxconn just recently began the process with an initial batch of 10,000 machines, appropriately named as “Foxbots,” coming into play. According to a report by CNET
, another 20,000 robots are due by the end of the year. It should be noted that each of these robots cost $20,000 and $25,000 each, which is said to currently be around three times the amount of the average Foxconn worker’s salary. As with any machinery being added into the mix, the initial cost of deploying Foxbots will be significant but they are sure to help save money over time.
The move as a whole is one that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as Foxconn has been scrutinized several times for its treatment of factory workers. Many accusations and cases of underage employment, poor wages, illegal overtime, and worker suicides have surfaced over the years. Apple has been working with the company throughout 2012 to help improve the working conditions in its factories, even going as far as seeking help from the Chinese Fair Labor Association, which has carried out inspections to highlight areas in which Foxconn must improve. The machines should help accelerate the process but in turn, leave many jobless.