Obama: More Economic Work to Be Done
As for the United States, Mr. Obama said, “We share the view that the economy is strengthening, that we are into recovery, that it’s actually led by some interesting sectors like manufacturing.”
“But,” he added, “what we also agreed is that we’ve still got a lot of work to do. There is a great concern about the 8 million jobs that were lost during the course of these last two years, and that we’ve got to continually push the pace of economic growth in order to put people back to work.”
I think I found 10% of those jobs.
The company opened its first manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, China in 1988, which is now the company's largest plant, with 420,000 employees working in shifts and living inside the compound. Currently Foxconn employs 800,000 people in mainland China including those working at the massive Shenzhen complex.
It is the kind of work Americans are told we don't want to do though. Heck, even the Chinese aren't all that crazy about it apparently.
Between January and May 2010, twelve Foxconn employees attempted suicide, with ten deaths. Some reporters criticized the company's long working hours, low pay and harsh management methods, such as physical abuse towards mainland employees from Taiwanese managers. Workers have complained about monotonous work schedules and inhumane working relationships (such as one employee, who had worked for half a year and yet did not know the names of his dormitory mates). Compared to China's overall suicide rate, the suicide rate at Foxconn is not statistically aberrant, but the rapid succession of suicides is unusual.
Fortunately, robots will never complain.
At the moment, Elektro-Praga -- which specializes in low-voltage circuit breakers, switches, control products, wiring accessories and cable systems -- only employs the ABB robot system to turn out its "Tango" line of dual plug sockets. But in the near future, it plans to use it for several other variants. In fact, as it takes no more than 10 minutes to set up the line for another variant this will make it possible to change the variant up to 30 times per week - which results in real flexible 'production to order'.
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