Robots don’t eat, drink, demand coffee breaks, or protest working conditions. And they certainly don’t commit suicide.
Following a wave of suicides in China, one at Foxconn where a worker twice attempted to kill himself and succeeded the second time, Foxconn suspended hiring, deciding to use more robots.
Electronics manufacturer Foxconn has halted recruitment in China, which it claims is due to plans to further automate processes, amid speculation of a reduction in production demand by its key client Apple.
In fact, the recruitment freezes among Foxconn this time is due to its long pronounced plans to install million robots to replace human, Chinese newspaper Beijing News reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified employees.
Foxconn chairman Terry Gou had ordered all factories in China earlier this year to beef up automated manufacturing processes by using more robots. According to the report, if any factories plan to conduct large-scale recruitment, it will need his personal approval.
In June 2011, Gou announced the company would deploy one million robots across factory assembly lines within three years.
The move will improve production efficiency and combat rising labor costs, and is also believed to be in response to a spate of suicides and criticism over working conditions at the company.
Get rid of a million workers, replace them with a million robots, and you get rid of a million complaints about working conditions, as well as unwanted, high-profile, work-related suicides.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock