Factory workers who assemble the iPhone in China are seeing a reduction in their wages because of poor sales.
According to the South China Morning Post, the poorly paid workers are lining up on a daily basis to leave the world’s largest iPhone assembly plant in China’s Henan province.
Not only are the staff working in incredibly unhealthy conditions due to smog, they’re seeing a reduction in wages of up to 25 per cent.
Workers have also described perks, like a shuttle bus service to and from worker’s dormitory rooms, being cancelled.
This has left some employees having to walk 40 minutes from the factory to their rooms every day.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in January the company had seen a five per-cent fall in revenue.
One of the biggest reasons for this was due to the weaker demand for new iPhones in China. Foxconn relies on Apple for its business, making up 20 to 30 per cent of its current revenue.
A worker for the company said the peak production season for iPhones only lasted about 20 days in 2018, cutting his salary from 4,000 yuan (£450) to 3,000 yuan (£338) in just one month.
To put that into perspective, peak production season is usually one month before Apple launches its new generation of phones, and lasts until three months after release.
The anonymous worker said:
In September, our line supervisor told us that Apple added a new order for three million iPhone 8 Plus [units].
It only took us about 20 days to finish the production because we worked 18 hours a day in two shifts, including weekends. The peak season didn’t last long at all.
A Foxconn worker, named Haixia, told the paper salaries and demand for workers has sharply dropped off:
In 2017, we were churning out iPhone 8s. I was thrilled that I could work 11 hours every day and didn’t take any leave on weekends.
Supervisors always demanded more from us, they even asked us to hurry up when we went for water.
She then went on to say she’s not been asked to recruit any new workers since October, something she had to do as part of her job regularly.
Unless sales of the iPhone are to pick up, job losses may continue and conditions described at the Zhengzhou Foxconn factory may only get worse. Foxconn currently has 45 factories scattered throughout China and the future isn’t looking great.
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Matt Weston is a lover of electric cars, artificial intelligence and space. From Cornwall, he’s a UCLan graduate that still dreams of being a Formula One driver in the very near future. Previously work includes reporting for regional newspapers and freelance video for the International Business Times.