Steve, bring the jobs

August 1, 2011

In an effort to reduce labor costs, and remove the uncertainty of a restive work force with a penchant for jumping off company buildings, Apple’s primary contract manufacturing partner plans to radically increase the number of robots it uses. With most of the people out of the picture, does it matter where they make them?

Xinhua News is running a bit of Foxconn feel good fluff — chairman Terry Gou announced to workers at a company sponsored Friday night dance party that the company would be adding 300,000 robots over the next year and eventually boosting the count to 1 million within three years.

If you’re one of the happy Foxconn drones performing “simple and routine work, such as spraying, welding and assembling,” sometime over the next three years, you will be made redundant. Is unemployment in a country with no social safety net better than a job known to drive some people quite literally over the edge, hmm?

For the Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), a union agit prop group that never tires of working Foxconn’s Apple iPhone and iPad connection, replacing workers with robots move is all about skirting responsibility.

Thereupon, you’ve got to wonder with labor intensive production tasks shifting to Skynet robots, then does it matter anymore where Foxconn assembles the products?

Seriously, Apple, bring manufacturing back home — America needs you more than you need China. And, can you imagine a better way for Steve Jobs to kick off his presidential campaign than announcing that iPhone and iPad production has been repatriated from China…

What’s your take?

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