Police beat workers protesting wage dispute at Apple’s biggest iPhone factory
Foxconn, the largest contract assembler of smartphones and other electronic devices, announced that it had canceled the production of the iPhone 14 last month after thousands of workers left its factory in the central city of Zhengzhou last month following complaints about unsafe working conditions. I’m having trouble fulfilling orders.
China’s status as an export powerhouse is based on factories such as Foxconn that assemble the world’s appliances, toys and other goods.
The ruling Communist Party is trying to contain the latest outbreak wave without shutting down factories and other economies as it did in early 2020. Its tactics include “closed-loop management,” in which workers live in factories from outside. contact.
Foxconn has offered higher wages to attract more workers to its Zhengzhou factory to assemble the iPhone 14, which sells from US$799 in the US.
Protests erupted on Tuesday after workers who traveled long distances to get jobs at the factory complained that the company had changed their salary terms, according to employee Li Sanshan.
Li said she quit her catering job after seeing an ad promising 25,000 yuan (US$3,500) for two months of work. This would significantly increase the average wage for this type of work in the region.
After the employees arrived, the company said they would have to work two more months at the lower wages to receive the 25,000 yuan.
“Foxconn put out a very attractive recruitment offer and workers from all over the country came in only to find they were being ridiculed,” he said.
Online videos show thousands of masked people facing a line of police in white protective suits with plastic riot shields. After grabbing a metal stick that was broken, he kicked him and hit him with a club.
Protests in Zhengzhou come as the ruling Communist Party faces growing frustration over restrictions in regions across China that have closed shops and offices and kept millions at home. .
It has escalated into protests in some cities. Videos on social media show residents tearing down barricades set up to force neighborhood closures.
The ruling party promised to reduce disruption this month by shortening the quarantine and making other changes. But the party is sticking to a “zero COVID” strategy aimed at isolating all cases while other governments try to ease restrictions and coexist with the virus.
Li said protests in Zhengzhou lasted until Wednesday morning, when thousands of workers gathered outside their dormitories and confronted factory security guards.
Apple Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company had previously warned that iPhone 14 deliveries would be delayed after access to the industrial zone around its Zhengzhou factory, which employs 200,000 people, was suspended after the outbreak.
Other videos showed protesters spraying fire extinguishers at police.
A video posted on the Sina Weibo social media platform shows a man claiming to be the Communist Party secretary in charge of community service, urging protesters to withdraw. He assured them that their demands would be met.
Foxconn, headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan, said its contractual obligations regarding payments were “always met.”
The company denied online comments that an employee with the virus was living in a dormitory at its Zhengzhou factory.
“Regarding the violence, the company is in communication with employees and the government to ensure that similar incidents do not occur again,” the company statement said.
Foxconn has offered up to 10,000 yuan ($1,400) to newly hired employees who want to quit and go home, financial news outlet Cailianshe reported, citing an unidentified recruitment agent.
Foxconn did not respond to requests for confirmation or details.
Protests have intensified as the number and severity of the outbreaks rise across China, with regions including the capital Beijing shutting down neighborhoods and imposing restrictions, residents say, beyond what the national government allows. ing.
More than 253,000 cases have been detected in the past three weeks, with a daily average rising, the government said on Tuesday.This week, officials reported China’s first death from COVID-19 in six months. did.
The government will implement anti-COVID policies while “resolutely overcoming the mindset of paralysis and laziness,” said Mi Feng, a spokesperson for the National Health Commission.
Early Thursday morning, the government reported that a total of 31,656 cases had been found in the past 24 hours. This includes 27,646 asymptomatic cases and 212 infections acquired abroad. Total up about 10% compared to the previous day.
Also on Thursday, people in eight districts of Zhengzhou, which has a total of 6.6 million residents, were told to stay home for five days, only to buy food or go out for treatment. Massive daily tests were ordered in what they called a “war of annihilation”.
The city government of Guangzhou, the epicenter of the outbreak, said Wednesday it had opened 19 temporary hospitals with a total of about 70,000 beds for coronavirus patients. The city announced last week plans to build a hospital and quarantine facility to accommodate 250,000 people.
Also on Wednesday, Beijing opened a hospital at its exhibition center and suspended access to Beijing Foreign Studies University after a virus case was discovered. The capital had earlier closed shopping malls and office buildings and suspended access to some apartment buildings.
Zen Soo reported from Hong Kong. Contributed by Caroline Chen, AP News Assistant.