Are robots coming for your job? Foxconn, which manufactures hardware for tech giants like Apple, is starting to automate its factories. The firm has welcomed 10,000 of its Tiffany-blue FoxBots, manufactured by Foxconn itself (in its FoxBot-making facility) to its factory in Jincheng. The plan is to have 30,000 in place by the end of 2012.
Under intense scrutiny from the Fair Labor Association, Apple’s Chinese supplier has revised its labor policies, including changes to its internship program “to ensure that the job relates to the intern’s field of study” and that interns’ “skills before and after” are measured “to document the benefits of the training.” And the company is also said to have taken measures to ensure fair wages and prevent 40-plus-hour work weeks. Now one of the paragons of bad labor practices is treating interns better than most U.S. companies.
“You look at companies like Motorola and Nokia—these type of guys who are big pushers of being socially responsible. Well, they are not really. Because what you’re doing is you’re just going to a factory that’s giving it to you for five cents less,” he says. “But how do you think they got it to five cents less? It’s because they’re cutting corners.”