Protests have erupted at Foxconn, Apple’s most important contract supplier for the iPhone, as employee dissatisfaction with wages and trading conditions grows after tough new COVID-19 measures.
According to some experience and social media posts, many protesters gathered inside the company’s large factory in Zhengzhou, China, smashing security cameras and windows.
The protests began Wednesday night local time, when some employees chanted “give us our wages back,” while others complained that they were locked in dormitories and that colleagues tested positive for COVID-19. Staff have also complained about inadequate on-site catering during the lockdown.
Foxconn denied those experiences in a statement to the media. “Regarding any incidents of violence, the company will continue to engage in dialogue with employees and the government to prevent recurrence,” the company said.
Production at the plant was said to have not been affected by the unrest as production remained “normal”.
reporter go to twitter Documented staff confronting riot police after walking out of dormitory to demand compensation. They tried to live stream on Douyin and Kuaishou, but the subscription was quickly shut down. Employees were reportedly stormed into the location with the belief that the COVID outbreak was under control, but they were housed in an eight-person isolation room.
AFP reported that a video confirmed dozens of employees shouting at night: “Defend our rights! Defend our rights!” as they confronted law enforcement officers.
Reports also mentioned police using tear gas and smoke grenades to disrupt the protests.
Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported that Foxconn had been working with Chinese authorities to recruit workers from rural areas. They brought employees into the department after they left last month following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Employing about 200,000 people before the COVID outbreak, the Zhengzhou factory adopted a “closed-loop” strategy, with employees living and processing on-site, reducing contact with the world above ground. Some former employees mentioned that 1,000 people had left the manufacturing plant campus. Producers were forced to offer bonuses and raise wages to attract replacement staff.
Based on varying experiences, local authorities have called on ex-soldiers and government workers to exchange fugitives at what is believed to be one of China’s largest manufacturing factories. ®