While robots have already been taking human jobs in many industries such as car manufacturing, as they become increasingly sophisticated there are growing fears they will put more employees at risk.
Now a major electronics company that supplies Apple and Samsung has announced it is to replace 60,000 staff with robots.
As reported by DailyMail:
Foxconn, the Taiwanese company which assembles iPhones and iPads, has brought in machines to perform repetitive tasks and axed more than half its 110,000-strong workforce at a factory in Southern China.
In a statement the company said: ‘We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees.’
The company said the move will free up employees to perform more complicated tasks and that it intends to maintain a significant workforce in China.
Foxconn has been working toward replacing workers with robots for a while now, in an attempt to save money and increase profits.
More companies could soon follow is example, with up to 600 firms in Kunshan in Jiangsu province, the manufacturing hub where the factory is based, reporting similar plans in a government survey, according to South China Morning Post.
The job cuts are not good news for Kunshan, which had a population of more than 2.5 million at the end of 2014, two-thirds of whom were migrant workers.
And it is a trend that could soon become a problem around the world.
In an interview with Fox Business, former McDonalds US CEO Ed Rensi argued the $15 (£10)/hour minimum wage raise will bring ‘job loss like you can’t believe.’
He argued it would be cheaper for companies to instead purchase robotic devices.
This comes a week after Microsoft announced the sale of its feature phone business to a new Finnish company HMD Global and its Taiwanese partner, FIH Mobile of Foxconn Technology Group, which will jointly begin manufacturing handsets and tablets under the Nokia brand again.
Microsoft also announced this week it will let go up to 1,850 employees .
Microsoft’s chief shop steward in Finland, Kalle Kiili, said he decision means Microsoft will no longer design or manufacture phones.
Kiili said Microsoft ‘will not be manufacturing (phone) devices, at least for the time being. It will do software, however.’
Read more at DailyMail.
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