According to a South China Morning Post article dated 25th May, Foxconn fired 60,000 employees and employed robots instead. The factory strength has been reduced to 50,000 people.
This is a part of a makeover that the company is undergoing since the industrial explosion in 2014, that killed 146 people.
Thirty-five companies in Taiwan including the Apple products manufacturer invested about $610 million on artificial intelligence in the last year.
“More companies are likely to follow the suit,” said the Kunshan government’s publicity department head, Xu Yulian. Reportedly, 600 companies in the country have similar plans.
Although the robots will cost a lot but the reduced labor costs over the long run will benefit the company. Besides, this way the management of human resources becomes simpler. The factories in Foxconn are becoming increasingly automated.
Terminating 60,000 employees is a bold move and considering that a large part of the working population in Taiwan consists of immigrants mostly from countries like India, it is important that the word of transformation is spreading as early and widely as possible.
Reports suggest that Indian IT companies have hired 24% fewer employees in the last year. Cognizant being the largest contributor to this, hired 74.6% fewer employees. All this can be largely attributed to automation.
Companies in India like Infosys are spending a lot of money on automation research and development, and this is going to be a major part of the IT industry shortly.
It is not just with Asia, Former McDonalds CEO, Ed Rensi recently admitted that the increase in minimum wages (to $15 an hour) will drive more and more companies towards automated workforce. This might not necessarily be a good thing for the overall Human resource Development.
According to research by Nasscom, 50% of all IT jobs in India, and 50% of all jobs will vanish by 2020 as a result of automation.