Apple Inc. supplier Foxconn’s Chinese plant has been hit by fresh labor unrest on social media

People who identified themselves as Foxconn workers broke down barriers and argued with authorities clad in hazmat suits at a COVID-hit plant owned by Apple Inc’s supplier in China’s industrial city of Zhengzhou, scenes broadcast live on Aug Kuaishou short video platform shown Wednesday.

The videos showed more than a hundred people gathered outside facing dozens of officers in hazmat suits, who they said were police officers. Some videos showed workers complaining about the food provided to them, while others said they had not been paid the promised bonuses.

Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the videos. Foxconn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

With around 200,000 employees, the plant in Zhengzhou is the largest iPhone factory in the world.

Since the end of October, many workers have fled – their escape has been chronicled on social media – as frustration mounts over the handling of COVID cases and the treatment of staff, including alleged inadequate food supplies.

To restart production, the manufacturer began persuading workers to stay and hire more staff, promising higher hourly wages and bonuses.

Due to the COVID situation in Zhengzhou, the company has maintained a so-called closed loop operation at the plant – a system in which on-site employees live and work in isolation from the rest of the world.

The restrictions and dissatisfaction have hit production, prompting Apple Inc to say earlier this month that it expects lower shipments of premium iPhone 14 models.

© Thomson Reuters 2022.

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