Update: Foxconn has now told CNET that Reuters' story is "completely inaccurate and totally without foundation", adding, "As we continue to increase the application of automation in our operations, the magnitude of our employee recruitment is expected to decrease in the years ahead, but we have no plans to reduce our workforce numbers now or anytime in the future."
Original story: Foxconn, the main manufacturing partner for Apple, will reduce its huge workforce in the face of higher labor costs and lower revenues. The move comes even as Apple is expecting to reveal high sales for its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus later today, both of which are made at Foxconn factories.
The company currently employs up to 1.3 million workers at peak manufacturing times. However, according to Reuters, even Foxconn has to deal with higher wages for its China-based workers. It states:
Special assistant to the chairman and group spokesman Louis Woo did not specify a timeframe or target for the reduction, but noted that labor costs had more than doubled since 2010, when the company faced intense media scrutiny following a spate of worker suicides. "We've basically stabilized (our workforce) in the last three years," Woo said. When asked if the company plans to reduce overall headcount, he responded "yes".
The article adds that Foxconn is looking to deploy more robotic arms at its factories to help improve automation of tasks that would previously be handled by human workers.