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The Foxconn riot aftermath, who’s to blame?

The recent upheaval and violence at Foxconn’s Taiyuan plant is still under investigation, but who’s really to blame?  According to Reuters, workers placed some of the blame on security personnel as well as the sudden increase in labor requirements.

The iPhone 5 is perhaps the hottest little piece of tech on the market, and to meet demands Apple is putting a lot of pressure on Foxconn to mass produce the device in as little time as possible.  The pressure to complete tasks on time while working long hours certainly doesn’t help to ease the tension between workers and Foxconn’s managements. 

According to labor activist Li Qiang, Foxconn’s larger plant in Zhengzhou is the main facility for iPhone 5 productions, but a worker in the Taiyuan plant reportedly informed Reuters that part of the iPhone 5 were being made in Taiyuan.

“The whole Apple production chain has problems,” Li said.  “Its sales and marketing strategy involves launching a product suddenly, without maintaining much inventory… so the subsequent product shortages help build demand, but also place extreme pressures on worker. 

Li also pointed out that it was common for Foxconn employees to work 70 hours a week, despite Apple and Foxconn claiming to have a 60 hour limit for their workers.

The violence that broke out might have been the inevitable conclusion to some long term ordeals and tension during working hours.  Apple will probably place the blame on Foxconn’s management, but then Foxconn will probably put the blame on the third party security firm that manages the workers.  Who should take the majority of the blame?

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