Foxconn's flagship iPhone plant in central China’s Zhengzhou is set to see its November shipments further reduced by the latest bout of worker unrest this week as thousands of employees left the site, Reuters quoted a source as saying on November 25.
On November 23, workers in the plant, most of whom were new recruits hired in recent weeks, clashed with security personnel. Many claimed they were misled over compensation benefits at the factory, and others complained about sharing dormitories with colleagues who had tested positive for COVID, said Reuters.
Foxconn could now see more than 30% of the site's November production affected, up from an internal estimate of close to 30% when the factory's worker troubles started in late October, the source said.
The site, which is the only factory where Foxconn makes premium iPhone models, including the iPhone 14 Pro, is unlikely to resume full production by the end of this month, the source added.
The world's largest Apple iPhone factory has been grappling with strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fuelled discontent among workers and disrupted production ahead of Christmas and January's Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, as many workers were either put into quarantine or fled the plant, reported Reuters.
It has fuelled concerns over Apple's ability to deliver products for the busy holiday period, as the Zhengzhou plant accounts for 70% of global iPhone shipments and produces the U.S. company's popular iPhone 14 models.
Foxconn apologised on November 24 for a pay-related "technical error" in hiring , and later offered RMB10,000 ($1,400) each to protesting new recruits who agreed to resign and leave.
The source said more than 20,000 workers, mostly new hires not yet working on production lines, took the money and left. Videos posted on Chinese social media on November 25 showed crowds and long lines of luggage-laden workers queuing for buses, Reuters said.
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