Foxconn apologizes after workers’ revolt at world’s largest iPhone factory

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Apple supplier Foxconn on Thursday issued an apology for the chaos at its Zhengzhou plant, the world’s largest iPhone factory, and offered compensation of ¥10,000 ($1,400) to any disgruntled worker who decides to leave the plant. , a day after violent clashes broke out between factory workers. and security staff for late payments and poor living conditions caused by China’s zero covid policy.

key facts

According to Reuters, Foxconn blamed the chaos on a “technical error” in its process for hiring new workers, raising concerns among workers that they would not receive the bonus payment they were promised at the time of hire.

Foxconn did not elaborate on the nature of the error, but dismissed reports of a Covid-19 outbreak in its workers’ dormitories as “patently false.”

Bonus pay and higher wages have been promised to all new recruits in an effort to get workers back at the plant after several left the facility in October over Covid concerns and poor living conditions.

However, several new employees began protesting after learning they would receive these special bonuses only if they stayed at the factory until March, Bloomberg reported.

To assuage workers’ anger over the issue, Foxconn has offered severance pay of ¥10,000 ($1,400) to new employees who decide to leave the plant, saying it would respect their wishes.

Due to China’s restrictive zero-covid policy, factory workers have been forced to live on-site in a closed bubble, isolated inside dormitories where they face food shortages and lack of proper access to medicine, among other things. stuff.

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Chaos at the massive “iPhone City” manufacturing campus that is home to more than 200,000 people on Wednesday has prompted officials in the city of Zhengzhou, where the factory is located, to issue lockdown orders in parts of the city ​​considered “high risk”. People in these high-risk areas have been ordered to stay at home, while the rest of the city’s residents have been urged to only go out for necessary tasks. This new lockdown is unlikely to have a major impact on the iPhone factory itself, as it has already been designated a “high risk” area and workers are not allowed to leave the large campus.

what to observe

While Apple hasn’t issued an official statement on the impact of Wednesday’s clashes, the company warned earlier this month of a delay in shipments of its flagship iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max phones due to “applicability restrictions.” Covid-19″ in Zhengzhou. On Apple’s website, the estimated delivery time for an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max is listed as six weeks at the time of publication.

Other reading

Apple supplier Foxconn apologizes for hiring mistake at COVID-hit China plant (Reuters)

Foxconn offers staff $1400 to leave after iPhone City violence (Bloomberg)

Apple shares fall ahead of trading amid Covid protest at China’s largest iPhone factory (Forbes)

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