Chaos erupt at Foxconn’s iPhone factory in China as workers fight Covid curbs

Apple iPhone maker Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory was the scene for fresh drama amid the increasing Covid cases in China. Videos broadcast live on the Kuaishou short video platform on Wednesday showed some people describing themselves as Foxconn workers, pulling down barriers and arguing with hazmat-suited authorities. The plant in the Chinese city belongs to the Apple Inc supplier. 

Over a hundred people can be seen coming face to face with dozens of  officials in protective suits, who are believed to be police. Other videos showed the workers complaining about food and not being paid bonuses promised to them.

Foxconn hasn’t commented on the matter yet, Bloomberg reported. The Zhengzhou plant is the world’s largest iPhone factory and employs over 200,000 workers.

Ever since news of Covid taking over the factory broke in October, workers started to flee and their escapes were captured on social media. They were all supposedly frustrated with how Covid cases were handled and over the treatment of employees. The workers also complained of insufficient provisions of food.

Production was severely hit after the developments and even Apple came out and issued a statement that production of iPhones has been hampered and that people will have to wait for the devices longer. 

In a bid to restore production, Foxconn promised workers extra pay if they continue to work. Authorities announced that the bonuses of those who stay will be quadrupled. Employees who are part of a Foxconn unit that makes electronics including smartphones at the site will now receive a bonus of 400 yuan ($55) a day for November, as opposed to the earlier rate of 100 yuan.

The plant maintains closed-loop operations at the plant, a system in which staff live and work on-site isolated from the wider world – due to the COVID situation in Zhengzhou. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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