Violent workers’ protests erupt at an Apple factory in China, manufacturer apologizes
by The Canadian Parvasi
On Tuesday, Hundreds of workers in a factory manufacturing phones in Zhengzhou, China broke out into violent clashes with the security personnel supposedly due to the rigid and strict covid restrictions in the factory under China’s zero Covid policy, and dismay over promised wages.
Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer for Apple, confirmed the outbreak of violence in its plant in China after protests occurred reportedly due to unpaid wages and as well as the fear of the spread of the virus in the factory, reportedly causing a tussle between the workers and the anti-riot police that arrived at the site in Central China.
Foxconn confirms ‘violence’ at China iPhone factory pic.twitter.com/OFg2MEeRMQ
— Kevin smith (@KJ00355197) November 23, 2022
In videos that have since made rounds on social media, workers could be seen smashing surveillance cameras as well as clashing with the police, who reportedly beat the workers in retaliation.
Foxconn, the biggest contract assembler of smartphones and other electronics, has been struggling to fulfill orders for the latest Apple iPhone after thousands of employees walked out of the factory in Zhengzhou last month due to unsafe work conditions.
In order to fulfill its employee demand, Foxconn offered higher pay rates to attract more workers to the plant. However, workers complained that the company had changed the terms of their pay after many travelled long distances to work at the factory.
Media reports suggest that while newer employees were promised 25,000 yuan (USD $3,500) for two months of work, many, on arrival at the factory, found out that they had to work for two additional months for lesser pay.
Workers also complained about the Covid-19 precautions in the plant, with many stating that they had to share dormitories with workers who were positive for Covid-19.
Zhengzhou, China 🇨🇳
Workers at the iPhone factory in Zhengzhou have had enough of zero Covid.
Ultimately, only people power can stop authoritarianism.pic.twitter.com/Jj8KX2eya1
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 24, 2022
In a statement addressing the protests on Wednesday, Foxconn apologised, stating, “Our team has been looking into the matter and discovered a technical error occurred during the onboarding process.”
“We apologize for an input error in the computer system and guarantee that the actual pay is the same as agreed and the official recruitment posters,” the statement continued.
The electronic assembly firm, however, vehemently denied any reports of workers being forced to share living spaces with Covid-19 positive workers, regarding them as “patently untrue” rumours.
Foxconn is now reportedly offering payouts of around $1,400 to new employees alongside the guarantee of paying the workers the same as agreed.
Tech-giant Apple has also since addressed the issue, stating, “We are reviewing the situation and working closely with Foxconn to ensure their employees’ concerns are addressed.”
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