Electronics manufacturer Foxconn might hire as many as 100,000 more employees at a plant in Zhengzhou, China, to accommodate demand for the next version of Apple's iconic iPhone. And there's no shortage of people who want those jobs.
Earlier this week, a TV station in China took video of a line that stretched more than two football fields long and interviewed people eager to get hired. Hundreds of people waited for hours outside a labor agency in Zhengzhou, and M.I.C. Gadget snapped some photos of the madness.
The site says people can make $261 per month (U.S.), with an increase to as much as $500. It's long hours, with some putting in double the normal American workweek. Many of the applicants are young people who also get room and board near the facility. Some have work experience, but others are recent college graduates.
Many are speculating that the push to hire more workers and the pending start of production on the iPhone 5 might mean the device is slated for a summer launch.
Foxconn has taken a lot of heat over its working conditions the past couple of years after a number of employees committed suicide. But the company has said it's taken steps to make life more tolerable there.
Meantime, a petition has started by an online group that wants Apple's next iPhone to made in an "ethical" manner. Almost 40,000 people have added their electronic signatures to the petition, which closely scrutizines Apple's own report that found nearly two-thirds of the more than 200 manufacturing facilities it inspected did not follow the company's policy that limits employees to 60-hour weeks. More than one in eight (13 percent) also lacked protection for workers who are minors and another third had issues with hazardous-waste management, the Washington Post reported.
SumofUS.org asks Apple to “overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers in time for the launch of the iPhone 5."