Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Foxconn Technology Group, the company that assembles iPhones in China, has issued an apology after police beat protesting employees outside one of their factories.

They also said they would pay 10,000 yuan ($1,867) to any worker who decides to quit.

Workers at the Zhengzhou factory went on strike this week, complaining that Foxconn had changed pay conditions to lure them into the roles. They also alleged that Foxconn forced them to share dormitories with colleagues who tested positive for COVID-19.

Click to play video: 'iPhone maker Foxconn apologizes after mass protests at Chinese factory'

iPhone maker Foxconn apologizes after mass protests at Chinese factory

In this Nov. 23, 2022 file photo, security guards in protective clothing take away a person during a protest on the grounds of a factory operated by Foxconn Technology Group, which runs the world’s largest Apple iPhone factory, in Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan province.

The Associated Press

Unrest is also spreading among the general population in China, with many frustrated that the ruling Communist Party continues to push a “zero-COVID” strategy that often results in sudden lockdowns that can last for weeks or months.

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Although the ruling party recently promised to try to reduce the disruption by shortening the quarantine, they continue to try to isolate every single case of the virus.

On Thursday, people in eight districts of Zhengzhou, with a total population of 6.6 million, were told to stay at home for five days. Daily mass testing was ordered for the “war of destruction” against the virus.

Click to play video: 'Covid-19: Visitors Seen Trapped at Shanghai Disneyland After Quarantine'

COVID-19: Visitors seen trapped in Shanghai Disneyland after quarantine

Meanwhile, Apple Inc. warns that it will ship fewer devices overseas in the coming weeks. There have already been reports of delays for the new iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. CNN reported last week that some US companies have been told their phones won’t arrive until the new year.

In Zhengzhou, many of Foxconn’s new hires traveled long distances to take jobs at the factory after Foxconn offered higher wages, The Associated Press reported.

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To attract new workers, Foxconn has offered 25,000 yuan ($4,663) for two months’ work, according to employees, or nearly 50 percent more than newspaper reports say its top wages are.

However, Bloomberg reports that factory workers have learned that they will not receive higher wages promised by Foxconn if they do not stay on the job until March 2023.

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Ikea customers in China in a panic, trying to escape the blockade due to COVID

The Taiwanese company, which assembles electronics for Apple and other brands, blamed this week’s troubles on a technological glitch in its computer system. They promised to pay employees their guaranteed rate.

“We apologize for the error in entering the computer system and guarantee that the actual salary is the same as agreed and on the official recruitment posters,” the company said in a statement. She promised to “do her best to actively address the concerns and reasonable requests of employees.”

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Videos posted on social media this week showed violent unrest outside the factory, with police in protective white suits violently attacking workers with batons and kicking them during protests on Tuesday and Wednesday. Workers were seen smashing surveillance cameras, breaking through barricades and fighting with security personnel.

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The company is trying to rebuild its workforce after last month’s employee walkout due to alleged unsafe conditions.

Thousands of Foxconn employees left the factory in October, after being placed under a partial quarantine due to COVID at the beginning of the month, which then escalated to a “closed circuit” quarantine at the company’s Zhengzhou campus until mid-October. In closed-circuit quarantine, workers must live on-site to keep production running and limit the risk of COVID-19.

The closures sparked a crisis in which workers were caught on video jumping fences to escape quarantine and hitchhiking with truck drivers and passing motorists.

According to media reports at the time, hundreds of thousands of Foxconn workers were locked inside the factory with no clear idea of ​​how many cases of COVID-19 were active on campus.

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Foxconn said the factory was back to normal operations by Wednesday evening, but it is becoming increasingly clear that China’s hard-line COVID strategy is disrupting the global economy and affecting supply chains around the world.

“We have Apple team members on the ground at our supplier Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility,” Apple said in a statement, but did not provide further details about the delivery delay. “We are reviewing the situation and working closely with Foxconn to ensure that their employees’ concerns are addressed.”

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Earlier this month, Counterpoint analyst Ivan Lam told CNN that between 10 and 30 percent of iPhone 14 production could be affected by the unrest at the Zhengzhou factory. He estimated that the Zhengzhou campus accounts for up to 85 percent of total iPhone production.

With files from the Associated Press, Reuters and Global News’ Kathryn Mannie

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