China Labor Watch reports that up to 4,000 workers went on strike after complaining about the new demands that are difficult to meet.
The organization said that most protesters were part of the onsite quality control line.
Conflicts between quality control inspectors and line workers over “overly strict” product-quality demands without proper training are the causes of tensions created.
The scuffs and scratches that some iPhone 5 users are seeing on their devices have forced plant managers and Apple to raise the new quality control standards.
“It was reported that factory management and Apple, despite design defects, raised strict quality demands on workers, including indentations standards of 0.02mm and demands related to scratches on frames and back covers,” the group said. “On top of this, they were not permitted to have a vacation during the holiday. This combination of factors led to the strike.”
The strike began at 1 p.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) on Friday, causing a work stoppage that “paralyzed the production lines,” China Labor Watch said.
UPDATE: Foxconn has released a statement denying reports that production of the iPhone 5 had been paralyzed by a strike.
“Any reports that there has been an employee strike are inaccurate,” the company said in an emailed statement, as cited by Reuters, adding that “there has been no workplace stoppage in that facility or any other Foxconn facility and production has continued on schedule.”
As for the dispute at the Zhangzhou plant that occurred on October 1-2, Foxconn commented that they were “isolated incidents and were immediately addressed and measures taken, including providing additional staff for the lines in question.”