In China’s Zenghzou, Foxconn Technology Group has started offering 10,000 yuan ($1,400) to any workers who choose to leave, a peculiar announcement intended to appease disgruntled new employees who played a crucial role in violent protests that caused outrage in the world’s largest iPhone factory.
In an online notice, Apple Inc.’s main global production partner said the sum, to be paid out in two installments, will help smooth the journey home for employees. Most of the 200,000-plus workers at A spokesperson from company told on Wednesday that Foxconn’s big plant in Zhengzhou are from other places, working in the province or country. But the intent was also to push out recent employees who were recruited with the help of the local government, many of whom flamed tensions among the ranks. The spokesperson further added that the company will replace departing staff though it may take time.
The severance, which amost exceeds a month’s wages for Foxconn’s blue-collar staff, is likely to calm down some employees who on Wednesday staged a rare violent protest that drew attention of the global media on economic and social toll of Xi Jinping’s Covid Zero strategy. Many workers clashed with security personnel in the early hours as tensions raged over after almost a month under tough lockdowns intended to prevent a Covid outbreak.
A reason behind the unrest is that workers found out they wouldn’t receive higher wages they had been promised unless they stayed at the factory through March. The 10,000 yuan payment is to compensate people unhappy with that restriction for their travel back home.
With so much dissatisfaction among Foxconn’s ranks is lokely to further harm production at a plant that cranks out the majority of Apple’s iPhones for shipment around the world. The US company has already warned it will ship lesser devices than anticipated during the critical holiday quarter, while wait times for iPhones have postponed in some cases to after Christmas.
The US company said in a statement, “We have Apple team members on the ground at our supplier Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility.”