China: Containment, Riots… What We Know About the Situation at the Largest iPhone Factory

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Employees protesting at the scene and police clash Zhengzhou, where Apple phones are manufactured. The strain caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and the very strict measures imposed.

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She is nicknamediPhone City”.LLocated in eastern China, Apple’s Zhengzhou factory, the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones, has become a hotbed of Covid-19. Owned by the Taiwanese group Foxconn, the factory has been in operation since October 2018. “closed circuit” Most workers reside in dormitories. Massive employee demonstrations erupted at his Wednesday, November 23, denouncing working conditions and compensation at the site. The situation also proves the fatigue and protests of the Chinese public against the government’s “zero Covid” strategy.

the factory is closed

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Foxconn, Apple’s main supplier, makes most iPhones in its own factories in China. Zhengzhou, Reuters explains (In English)The site is located in Henan province and employs more than 200,000 people, according to AFP. In recent months, the factory has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases among its workers.However Foxconn has an obsession. It’s about maintaining production as the holiday season approaches.

As such, Apple’s subcontractors introduced containment in October to contain the spread of the virus. Therefore, employees are housed in dormitories to limit contact with the outside world. reaction (paid item). Several employees explained the situation “chaotic” at AFP.

Some spoke on condition of anonymity. “Positive people coexist with negative people”. Videos of employees complaining about working conditions and lack of virus protection have also been shared on social media.

employee ran away

Workers fled at the end of October in the face of these new cases of Covid-19 and the measures taken by the company. world (paid item)Footage shared by a BBC correspondent shows workers fleeing over fences with suitcases. In response, Chinese authorities announced in early November that 600,000 people living around the site would be detained for a week.

Foxconn, meanwhile, is trying to recruit new employees with the help of local authorities, who say they are encouraging former military personnel and CCP cadres to help factories secure production. rice field. reaction When world.

Among other things, in order to retain its employees, Foxconn promised to quadruple their bonuses. The company said he will pay a daily bonus on November 1st. Attendance allowance of 400 yuan (approximately 54 euros) per day and an additional bonus for working at the factory for at least 15 days in November.

Riot outbreak

But those measures didn’t prevent a violent riot on Wednesday between police and factory workers who were outraged by working conditions. They are seen wearing clothes and beating protesters in an attempt to block the exit from the scene. The broadcast of these images is censored in China, explains France Television’s China correspondent.

One worker told AFP that the protests erupted because of a dispute over the payment of bonuses promised to workers. He claimed that the bonus would have been revised downward, causing great dissatisfaction among the staff.

Foxconn confirmed of “violence” on thursday “technical error” The cause of this premium payment problem was the payment system. “We will do our best to proactively resolve reasonable employee requests.”she explains.However, the company denies We welcomed new employees with Covid-19 positive staff.

These demonstrations are Fatigue for a large portion of China’s population, where a strict “Zero Covid” health policy has been applied. L.A small increase in cases leads to city-wide shutdowns. the authorities of Zhengzhou also announced on Thursday Confinement in some districts. For five days from Friday, residents of the city center will not be allowed to leave the area without daily negative tests and permission from local authorities.they are advised not to leave the house “unless necessary”. these are The restrictions affect more than 6 million residents.

Apple will check the situation

Apple said Thursday that a representative is currently at the factory. To AFP, the California group “We have reviewed the situation and are working closely with Foxconn to ensure that employee concerns are addressed.”.

In early November, the American companyFor site containment “Temporarily Affected” Factory production, leading to Shipping iPhone 14 Pro “Weaker than expected”. “Customers will have to wait longer to receive new products.”explained the brand.

“Since the pandemic began, we have prioritized worker health and safety in our supply chain.”


at the beginning of november

However, Foxconn now promises RMB 10,000 compensation to employees who wish to terminate their contracts. This is around €1,340 to cover their salaries, transportation and quarantine costs. Several employees have confirmed that they received this bonus in exchange for immediate retirement. An employee told AFP that he received an additional 500 yuan bonus for his injured colleague. Foxconn did not respond when contacted by AFP.

Source: Francetvinfo

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