Foxconn says it is working with employees to resolve disputes
Large iPhone factory rocked by protests over wages and working conditions
Apple says it has a team on site in Zhengzhou
(Adds commentary from Apple, details on COVID cases in China, background)
TAIPEI, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Apple’s main supplier, Foxconn, said on Thursday there had been a “technical error” in hiring new recruits at a COVID-hit iPhone factory in China and apologized to workers after the company’s latest labor unrest.
Men smashed surveillance cameras and clashed with police as hundreds of workers protested outside the world’s largest iPhone factory in the city of Zhengzhou on Wednesday, in rare scenes of open dissent in China over frustration over late payments and tight COVID-19 restrictions. Originated from the claims of
The employees said on video circulating on social media that they had been informed that Foxconn planned to delay bonus payments. Some employees also complained that they were forced to share dormitories with colleagues who had tested positive for COVID.
“Our team is investigating the matter and a technical error occurred during the onboarding process,” Foxconn said in a statement.
“We apologize for an input error in the computer system and guarantee that the actual salary is agreed upon and identical to the official recruitment posters.”
The largest protest had ended Thursday and the company was in contact with employees involved in smaller protests, a Foxconn source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The person said the company had reached a “preliminary agreement” with workers to resolve the dispute and production at the plant continued on Thursday.
The Taiwanese company said it will respect the wishes of new recruits who want to step down and leave the factory grounds and offer them a “care subsidy”.
In videos circulating online Wednesday, some workers complained that they were never sure they would get food while quarantined in the sprawling industrial complex in central Henan province.
One person said, “Foxconn never treats people like people.”
China reported a record 31,444 new daily cases of locally acquired COVID on Wednesday, up from the previous peak of 29,317 on April 13.
fall in shares
Foxconn shares fell 0.5% Thursday morning, versus a 0.5% gain in the broader market.
More than 200,000 people work at the Zhengzhou factory, which makes Apple Inc devices, including the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Apple said it had employees at the plant and was “working closely with Foxconn to ensure their employees’ concerns are addressed.” The factory accounts for 70% of iPhone shipments worldwide.
Reuters previously reported that iPhone production at the Zhengzhou factory could drop by as much as 30% in November due to the worker unrest last month, and that Foxconn is aiming to have full production there by the second half of the month. to resume.
Apple has warned it expects fewer shipments of premium iPhone 14 models than previously expected. Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives expects the shutdown to cost Apple about $1 billion a week in iPhone sales.
The factory has been experiencing labor unrest and discontent since October, mainly due to strict quarantine rules, repeated COVID outbreaks and poor conditions, including food shortages.
Some employees fled the premises rather than submit to Foxconn’s so-called closed-loop system, which requires employees to live and work on site and isolate themselves from the outside world. (Reporting by Yimou Li; editing by Stephen Coates)