Violent worker protests erupt at the world’s largest iPhone factory in central Chinaas Foxconn factory authorities scramble to contain a COVID-19 outbreak while maintaining production ahead of the busy holiday season.
Workers at the Zhengzhou plant shared more than a dozen videos showing staff coming face to face with police lines armed with batons and dressed in white protective gear. Videos show police beating workers, some bleeding from the head and others limping after chaotic clashes.
Beijing’s strict regime has created major problems for the operation of Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory, which typically employs more than 200,000 people on a sprawling campus on the outskirts of the city. Wednesday’s turmoil will heighten investor concerns about risks in Apple’s supply chain, of which more than 95% of iPhones are produced in China.
Problems at the factory earlier this month caused Apple to cut its estimates for shipments of the high-end iPhone 14 and gave investors a rare warning about the delays.
WARNING: graphic content. Hundreds of workers at Apple’s main iPhone factory in China clashed with security personnel after being locked down for weeks to quash a Covid outbreak.
More here: https://t.co/aRNCr878WK pic.twitter.com/mgw0mHZeDB
—Bloomberg Technology (@technology) November 23, 2022
So said two employees of the Foxconn factory Protests erupted Wednesday morning after Apple’s manufacturing partner attempted to reject bonuses promised to new employees who were quarantined before being sent to the assembly line. “Initially, they simply entered the factory to ask the management for an explanation, but they were unsuccessful [les dirigeants] did not show their faces and instead called the policesaid one of the employees.
Real problems on the ground
Another employee said dissatisfaction grew over the plant’s continued failure to contain a COVID outbreak, harsh living conditions and staff’s fear of testing positive.
Foxconn said the company would work with employees and the government to prevent further acts of violence. The company said it has always honored its contracts and will continue to “communicate and explain” this to new hires. She said reports that the company was mixing COVID-positive workers with those not yet infected were false.
Videos show employees knocking over carts on the Foxconn campus, breaking into factory offices and smashing a COVID testing booth. Live feeds from the crime scene on Wednesday afternoon showed groups of workers moving around a yard between buildings. Some employees livestreamed the protests on social media until censorship stepped in to stop the broadcasts.