By Paul Chung
Image credits: @Bert van Dijk.
Foxconn, the largest private employer in China, has announced hiring freezes until the end of March and slowed recruitment forecasts across all of its Chinese factories.
The Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing contractor justifies its decision by citing an unprecedented high employee retention rate following the holiday season, a period usually characterized by workers finding jobs elsewhere or staying home instead of returning to the factory line.
The Financial Times reports hiring freezes on the Shenzhen factory’s iPad and iPhone production lines. Shenzhen, which employs over 200,000 workers, is Foxconn’s largest factory. Factories in Taiyuan and Chengdu, which primarily manufacture Apple gadgets, also announced recruitment freezes.
Foxconn maintains a workforce of somewhere between 1.4 to 1.5 million workers in China, with widespread seasonal fluctuations. On average, Foxconn workers have a 13 month tenure with the company.
Apple stocks dipped 2.8% amid worries that iPhone 5 sales were slowing. Despite the widespread speculation about sluggish Apple sales, Foxconn maintains that the hiring freeze is not a result of any single client. The company also contracts manufacturing for Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Sony.
Last month, Foxconn workers in Jiangxi province and Beijing held strikes protesting cheap labor exploitation and withheld bonuses and salary increases, respectively.