Foxconn replaced 60.000 workers with machines, that’s 60.000 of people left without a job. Still, the manufacturer denies having dismissed so many of its employees overnight.
The Chinese manufacturer, that supplies parts for important clients like Apple and Samsung, has replaced thousands of workers with robots that can do their tasks faster and without the same amount of effort. Although those layoffs may translate at first into thousands of families that can no longer count on a steady income, Foxconn believes it’s all for the best:
“We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as research and development, process control and quality control,” said Foxconn to BBC. “We will continue to harness automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in China.”
If that’s true, it means that those people have a chance to learn more and receive extra responsability in the company. But this doesn’t mean the same opportunities will arise for future employees that will be confronted with a similar situation. As a 2010 White House report showed, every American that makes less than $20/hour in the US has an 83% probability of eventually losing his job to a robot.