Massive protests at biggest iPhone factory In China over Covid rules

New Delhi | Updated: 24 November, 2022 4:35 pm IST

Massive protests erupted at the biggest iPhone manufacturing factory in Zhengzhou city of China, prompting Taiwan’s Foxconn to issue an apology.

According to videos circulating on social media sites, hundreds of works can be seen shouting slogans like ‘protect our rights’ and accusing Foxconn of not treating them like “humans”.

The workers alleged that they were forced to share dormitories with patients of Covid-19.

Videos show the employees smashing CCTV cameras and confronting with riot police in protest against the company’s Covid management policy and their due salaries.

In October, videos emerged on social media in which people were seen fleeing from the factory riding their lorries to their hometowns or some other safer areas due to the Covid-19 outbreak at the site.

They alleged that when many people fled from the factory, Foxconn hired new people with higher pay and bonuses but now the company is failing to give the promised salaries.

“They altered the contract, preventing us from receiving the promised subsidy. They confine us but do not provide food,” said a protester during the live-stream.

After hiring new employees, the company enacted the ‘closed loop operations’ and separated its employees from the rest of the city due to the fear of Covid infection.

Workers complained that they do not have enough supplies of food and medicines in quarantine and that Foxconn had insufficient curbs to contain the outbreak.

“I didn’t know the exact reason why people were protesting, but they were mixing us, new workers, with old workers who were (Covid) positive,” said a newly-hired employee.

After the protests, Foxconn, in a statement, said that it would work with staff and local government to prevent further violence.

“Some workers had doubts about pay but that the firm would fulfil pay based on contracts,” firm said in a statement.

The company called claims that healthy workers shared dormitories with infected co-workers as a “rumour”.

China’s zero Covid policy is creating disruptions for factories and other businesses in China.

Earlier this month, Apple said it expected lower shipments of iPhone 14 models because of the disruption to production in Zhengzhou.


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