1 Million Robots to Replace Foxconn's Human Workers
Why hire a human to do a robot's job? Technology manufacturer Foxconn will be replacing some of its human workers with one million robots in a span of three years. These synthetic replacements will be utilized primarily for straightforward factory work such as spraying, welding and assembling. The robots are seen by the company as a more efficient and cost-effective way to combat its dilemma with human manpower.
The company best known as an Apple contractor has been hit hard in recent times by a disturbing trend of suicides among its workers. To date, 18 suicide attempts were made by its employees. Foxconn responded initially by having its 1,200,000 employees sign no-suicide clauses, setting up preventive netting to keep people from leaping to their deaths, and increasing wages. Unfortunately, its Chinese employees continue to suffer from long work hours and cramped working environments, factors of which are thought to have led to two more unnatural deaths this year.
Foxconn already uses 10,000 robots, and plans to increase that number to 300,000 next year. By 2014, the robots will reach one million in workforce population. That's good news for the company, of course. The current employees, though, may have differing opinions on that matter. In the meantime, Foxconn chairman Terry Gou made the announcement of their being replaced by robots at a workers' dance party last Friday.