NDTV: Foxconn Apologises After Violent Protests Over Pay At China iPhone Factory

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Foxconn - apologizes - report - 1

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Foxconn, Apple’s major supplier, apologized to workers following the recent protests in the factory. The company mentioned that there was a “technical error” when hiring new recruits at an iPhone factory in China hit with COVID-19.

Protests in the Foxconn Factory

Hundreds of workers protested and clashed with police recently at the world’s biggest iPhone plant in Zhengzhou due to claims of overdue pay and frustration over severe COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the workers, they were informed that Foxconn intended to delay bonus payments. Meanwhile, other workers complained that they had to share dormitories with fellow workers that tested positive for COVID.

“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.” Foxconn said in a statement.

Foxconn - apologizes - report - 1

The largest protests died down by Thursday with Foxconn communicating with its employees. A source told Reuters that the company had reached “initial agreements” with employees to resolve the dispute.

Videos that circulated on the internet on Wednesday showed workers complaining that they were never sure if meals would arrive while in quarantine in the industrial campus.

“Foxconn never treats humans as humans,” one person said.

Unrest Causes Shares to Fall

Foxconn shares dropped by 0.5% earlier this morning. In comparison, the broader market has seen a 0.5% gain.

The Zhengzhou plant has more than 200,000 workers employed to make Apple devices like the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. It accounts for 70% of iPhone shipments internationally.

This unrest, according to Reuters, could affect up to 30% of productivity in November. Apple itself expects lower shipments of iPhone 14 models than previously hoped. Meanwhile, Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives expects the shutdown to cost Apple about USD 1 billion a week in lost iPhone sales.

The unrest in the plant started in October mainly because of strict quarantine rules, repeated COVID outbreaks, and food shortages, among other poor living conditions.


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