A business publication out of Japan reported yesterday that Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn plans to replace 10,000 workers at its Taiwan display screen plant with automation. The company forecasts to implement the change by the end of 2018. Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, issued the following statement:
As Wisconsin taxpayers hand over $4.5 billion to Foxconn with a loose promise of creating between 3,000 and 13,000 jobs at an LCD screen plant, it should come as great concern that Foxconn is replacing 10,000 workers with artificial intelligence at its Taiwan facility.
There is no telling what Foxconn might do at a future Wisconsin plant, because the agreement Gov. Scott Walker signed offered no protections for our enormous investment against automation.
During negotiations, the governor and Republicans did not take these concerns seriously.
These 10,000 jobs, and 10,000 lives hanging in the balance, in addition to thousands of others replaced by robots in China, make evident that a major part of Foxconn’s business model is replacing human labor with automated labor.
Because of the bad deal, which dates back to President Donald Trump, was passed by this legislature and was approved by Gov. Walker, all we can do is hope Foxconn will indeed employ humans for the entire length of the deal, preferably ones who live in Wisconsin, in exchange for the exorbitant amount of money the next few decades of Wisconsin taxpayers will be handing them.
On top of that, imagine if we gave away billions to a foreign company who will continue the negative corporate track record of workers getting the short end of the stick with abrupt layoff notices.
Then the deal goes from bad to worse.