The South China Morning Post has reported that Foxconn, the manufacturer of iPhone 6 has introduced the latest robots to streamline the production process. The robots employed by the company have culled more than half its workforce, nearly 60,000 workers, from one factory of the enterprise.
The decision was made to minimize the costs and enhance the efficiency of the manufacturing plant. The company had employed 110,000 personnel of which 60,000 have now been laid off.
The industrial automation is going to bring a paradigm shift in the manufacturing sector as more of the jobs will be claimed by the machines and robotic systems. However, the laid off workforce of 60,000 people is left wondering about their future.
The official statement by the Foxconn representatives stated:
“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. We will continue to harness automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in China.”
Recently, the ex-CEO McDonald’s Ed Rensi came under fire for saying that the increase of minimum wage rate to $15 an hour will encourage companies to adopt AI simply because:
“It’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who is inefficient, making $15 an hour bagging French fries.”
The economic and financial experts from around the world have already warned that the 35 percent of workers may lose their jobs to automated systems in the next 20 years.