Foxconn Denies Strike At iPhone 5 Plant — But Says Apple Asked It To Improve Quality Control

Electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn has denied earlier reports that thousands of workers went on strike on Friday at a plant that assembles Apple’s latest iPhone — reportedly causing production of the device to be “paralysed”. Today Foxconn said no such strike took place and claimed production of the iPhone 5 is on schedule, Reuters is reporting.

Earlier reports had suggested 3,000 to 4,000 workers began striking at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou complex on Friday afternoon — with the disputes apparently triggered by “over-exacting quality controls” on iPhone 5 production, compounded by a lack of worker training to meet the new, higher standards. Demands that workers also work through a week-long national holiday also caused tensions to boil over into industrial action, according to reports.

But Foxconn Technology Group sent Reuters a statement today denying there had been a strike. It said two brief and small disputes took place at the plant in question, several days earlier, but claimed these were “immediately addressed” and did not escalate into an “employee strike”. Additional staff were also provided for “the lines in question”, it added.

“Any reports that there has been an employee strike are inaccurate,” Reuters quotes Foxconn in an emailed statement. Foxconn added that “there has been no workplace stoppage in that facility or any other Foxconn facility and production has continued on schedule”. Employees who worked over the national holiday did so voluntarily, it added.

Also in the email, Foxconn said it received instructions from Apple to “strengthen quality inspections” for the iPhone 5 — “following multiple complaints from customers regarding aesthetic flaws in the phone”.

We’ve asked Apple to confirm this claim and will update with any response.