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Foxconn pledges no layoffs in 2012 as it adds 300,000 robots to assembly line

(Xinhua)

15:57, November 20, 2011

SHENZHEN, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Foxconn's founder and chairman Terry Guo Saturday said the Taiwanese technology giant won't axe workers in 2012 when it adds 300,000 robots to the assembly line.

Guo said in Shenzhen that Foxconn will produce 300,000 robots in the whole of next year, or some 1,000 robots a day, to do routine and more risky jobs to raise the company's productivity.

The robots won't affect current staff, he said, pledging no job cuts next year even though the global manufacturing sector is at the bottom and the global economic prospect for 2012 is still uncertain.

In July, Guo said Foxconn would replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in three years to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency.

The robots would be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling which are now mainly conducted by workers, Guo then said.

Foxconn, the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer which assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia, is in the spotlight after a string of suicides of workers at its massive Chinese plants, which some blamed on tough working conditions and low pay.

Foxconn substantially raised workers' pay at its production base in Shenzhen last year in wake of the suicides and have since then been building more plants in inland regions to reduce labor costs.

The company currently has nearly 1.2 million employees at the Chinese mainland plants.

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