Concerned Residents of Mount Pleasant need to be aware that Foxconn has proven itself to be an irresponsible Corporation which actively exploits it’s workers, pays substandard wages, demands excessive overtime, often breaks it’s promises, and seeks to replace Human workers with Robots. It is NOT a good fit for Mount Pleasant, WI and should look elsewhere for the slave wage labor it demands.
From The Guardian:
The company doesn’t have a great track record of keeping its job-creation promises, for one. Then there’s the issue of worker conditions in China
But the state has a troubled history in matters of economic development, and the company, a supplier to Apple, Google, Amazon and other tech giants, has a lackluster record when it comes to fulfilling its promises. The news should raise red flags.
The deal, backers say, will create 13,000 jobs in six years – in return for a reported $3bn in state subsidies. Only 3,000 of those jobs will come immediately. Furthermore, the Washington Post has reported that Foxconn has a track record of breaking such job-creation promises. In 2013, the company announced plans to hire 500 people and invest $30m in Pennsylvania. The plan fizzled out.
Foxconn investment agreements in Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Brazil failed to deliver completely. In India, for example, the company promised made in 2014 to invest $5bn over five years, creating 50,000 jobs. According to the Washington Post, reality has fallen far short. Workplace safety concerns will also dog the Wisconsin project; recent “right to work” legislation will affect worker-company relations.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is a participant in the Foxconn deal. During Walker’s brief presidential run, it was dogged by questions over failed loans. Businessman and Republican donor Ron Van Den Heuvel was indicted for fraudulently borrowing $700,000 from a local bank. Months after WEDC was created in 2011 the agency, then led by Walker, lent him more than $1.2m, without performing a background check.
Likewise, the state’s manufacturing and agriculture tax credit has been widely criticized as a simple refund for millionaires, according to the Wisconsin Budget Project (WBP) nearly “wiping out income taxes for manufacturers and agricultural producers”.
Six states were reportedly negotiating with Foxconn. Pointing to property tax breaks and job-training costs, Joe Peacock of the Wisconsin Budget Project warned that the total cost of winning the race could exceed $3bn. Similar deals, he said, often end up as a “zero-sum game” for states.
Also from The Guardian:
In an extract from his new book, Brian Merchant reveals how he gained access to Longhua, the vast complex where iPhones are made and where, in 2010, unhappy workers started killing themselves.
Today, the iPhone is made at a number of different factories around China, but for years, as it became the bestselling product in the world, it was largely assembled at Foxconn’s 1.4 square-mile flagship plant, just outside Shenzhen. The sprawling factory was once home to an estimated 450,000 workers. Today, that number is believed to be smaller, but it remains one of the biggest such operations in the world. If you know of Foxconn, there’s a good chance it’s because you’ve heard of the suicides. In 2010, Longhua assembly-line workers began killing themselves. Worker after worker threw themselves off the towering dorm buildings, sometimes in broad daylight, in tragic displays of desperation – and in protest at the work conditions inside. There were 18 reported suicide attempts that year alone and 14 confirmed deaths. Twenty more workers were talked down by Foxconn officials.
The epidemic caused a media sensation – suicides and sweatshop conditions in the House of iPhone. Suicide notes and survivors told of immense stress, long workdays and harsh managers who were prone to humiliate workers for mistakes, of unfair fines and unkept promises of benefits.
The corporate response spurred further unease: Foxconn CEO, Terry Gou, had large nets installed outside many of the buildings to catch falling bodies. The company hired counsellors and workers were made to sign pledges stating they would not attempt to kill themselves.
“It’s not a good place for human beings,” says one of the young men, who goes by the name Xu. He’d worked in Longhua for about a year, until a couple of months ago, and he says the conditions inside are as bad as ever. “There is no improvement since the media coverage,” Xu says. The work is very high pressure and he and his colleagues regularly logged 12-hour shifts. Management is both aggressive and duplicitous, publicly scolding workers for being too slow and making them promises they don’t keep, he says. His friend, who worked at the factory for two years and chooses to stay anonymous, says he was promised double pay for overtime hours but got only regular pay. They paint a bleak picture of a high-pressure working environment where exploitation is routine and where depression and suicide have become normalised.
“It wouldn’t be Foxconn without people dying,” Xu says. “Every year people kill themselves. They take it as a normal thing.”
“They call Foxconn a fox trap,” he says. “Because it tricks a lot of people.” He says Foxconn promised them free housing but then forced them to pay exorbitantly high bills for electricity and water. The current dorms sleep eight to a room and he says they used to be 12 to a room. But Foxconn would shirk social insurance and be late or fail to pay bonuses. And many workers sign contracts that subtract a hefty penalty from their pay if they quit before a three-month introductory period.
On top of that, the work is gruelling. “You have to have mental management,” says Xu, otherwise you can get scolded by bosses in front of your peers. Instead of discussing performance privately or face to face on the line, managers would stockpile complaints until later. “When the boss comes down to inspect the work,” Xu’s friend says, “if they find any problems, they won’t scold you then. They will scold you in front of everyone in a meeting later.”
“It’s insulting and humiliating to people all the time,” his friend says. “Punish someone to make an example for everyone else. It’s systematic,” he adds. In certain cases, if a manager decides that a worker has made an especially costly mistake, the worker has to prepare a formal apology. “They must read a promise letter aloud – ‘I won’t make this mistake again’– to everyone.”
While Forbes reports on just WHY Foxconn is moving out of China –
As Dou reports, a Foxconn worker was struck and hit by a train on his way to work on August 19. Why was he struck?
While Facing Finance, which calls on investors not to invest in companies profiting from violations of human rights, environmental pollution, corruption or the production of controversial weapons, describes the horrors of actual Foxconn working conditions:
The Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., (also known by its trading name, Foxconn), has been accused of violating labour rights for many years.They keep their employees in overcrowded dormitories run by military-like security forces. People work excessive hours, often with no compensation for overtime, which the company claims is done voluntarily. Management controls every aspect of workers’ lives, interfering with their privacy. The concept of privacy is even an illusion, as up to 24 people share a room in huge blockhouses.
Foxconn employs about 1.2 million workers in China. In Shenzhen and Chengdu, a combined Foxconn workforce of 500,000 provides labour for Apple Inc. Violations against workers have already been widely reported over the last decade. However, in recent years these issues have drawn more attention from international media and human rights organisations as there have been a number of suicides and frequent riots in Chinese Foxconn factories.
Meanwhile, technologically illiterate Wisconsin Politicians don’t realize that Foxconn is already replacing taxpaying Humans with tax-free Robots.
The biggest manufacturer of Apple (aapl) products is going to replace human workers with robots.
The factory has “reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots,” according to Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, in an interview with the Post. He added, “More companies are likely to follow suit.”
The news comes days after Foxconn’s founder Terry Gou said there be layoffs at Japanese company Sharp, which makes displays for electronics, to turn it around.
Foxconn added in a statement to the BBC that it is automating numerous jobs that have historically been filled by human workers.