Monday, August 1, 2011

Foxconn replace its workers with robots

Terry Gou, founder and director of Foxconn, has admitted that its factories would use one million robots in three years. It now has only 10 000 robots and is expected to have 300,000 by the end of next year. It is a rapid expansion that could be an answer to the problems encountered with the foundry employees.

Foxconn recently made headlines because of a significant number of employees committing suicide because, according to some testimonies, poor working conditions.

The firm denies it and the debate has subsided, but continues to resurface with each new incident. In the words collected by the site Xinhuanet, Mr. Gou says that robots will be used for simple, repetitive tasks such as painting or assembly. Foxconn employs 1.2 million people and the average worker on a production line earns about € 100 per month. The speed at which the founder plans to install new machines suggests that it would lay off a significant number of employees.

Foxconn is experiencing a decline in sales recently and may be it one way for him to carry out a restructuring plan to boost domestic revenues and return to growth.

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