Foxconn reportedly facing strikes as it prepares for next iPhone production

The China Morning News is reporting that Foxconn, Apple’s goto manufacturing partner, is currently in the middle of a significant hiring binge. The company hopes to increase numbers by 20,000 at its Taiyuan plant in Northern China.

According to the report, the push is in preparation for the production of the next-generation iPhone. The handset isn’t expected to hit the market until later this year, but Foxconn is said to have already received orders from Apple…

“Foxconn in Tai Yuan is now building a new base for iPhone 5 production. The company is now is now in need of approximately 20,000 workers. Mr. Yu, an insider at Tai Yuan Foxconn, says that the company still has tons of openings, especially front-line workers. “As long as they meet the basic standards, (we’ll) take as many as possible.” Given Apple’s prominent position in the industry, Foxconn has made iPhone production its foremost priority in mainland China. Mr. Yu says that Foxconn gets about 85% of the total order of iPhone 5, which translates into about 57 million units per year.”

9to5Mac points to a related story that could also explain Foxconn’s recent heavy hiring. Apparently, several factory workers at the company’s Taiyuan plant have gone on strike due to a pay dispute. It seems that employees were promised raises ahead of work on Apple’s next iPhone, but have yet to see a pay increase.

Despite the fact that Apple’s next smartphone isn’t expected to arrive until fall, it wouldn’t surprise us if it was already putting in production orders. Especially since we’ve heard reports that the next-generation iPhone has been ready to go since last fall.