Foxconn, the company that assembles Apple Inc.’s iPhones has apologized for a pay dispute that triggered employee protests at the factory.
Employees complained that Foxconn Technology Group changed the terms of wages offered to attract them to the factory in the central city of Zhengzhou.
Foxconn is trying to rebuild the workforce after employees walked out last month over complaints about unsafe conditions.
To attract new workers, Foxconn offered 25,000 yuan ($3,500) for two months of work. Employees complained that after they arrived, they were told that they had to work an additional two months at lower pay in order to receive the higher wage.
Foxconn’s statement today, November 24, 2022 said employees who leave will receive unspecified “care subsidies” but gave no details. It promised “comprehensive support” for those who stay.
Foxconn blamed a “technical error” in the process of adding new employees and said they would be paid what they were promised.
“We apologize for an input error in the computer system and guarantee that the actual pay is the same as agreed and the official recruitment posters,” the company statement revealed.
It promised to “try its best to actively solve the concerns and reasonable demands of employees.”
China Expands Lockdowns As COVID-19 Cases Escalate
Meanwhile, pandemic lockdowns are expanding across China, including Zhengzhou where factory workers clashed with the police, as the number of COVID-19 cases increase.
Residents of eight districts of Zhengzhou, home to 6.6 million people, were told to stay home for five days beginning today, November 24, 2022 except to buy food or get medical treatment.
Daily mass testing was ordered in what the city government called a “war of annihilation” against the virus.
The National Health Commission has stated that in the previous 24 hours, the number of new COVID cases rose by 31,444. That’s the highest daily figure since the coronavirus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.
The daily caseload has been steadily increasing. This week, authorities reported China’s first COVID-19 deaths in six months, bringing the total to 5,232.
Even though the number of cases and deaths is relatively low compared to the United States and other countries, China’s ruling Communist Party remains committed to a “zero-COVID” strategy that aims to isolate every case and eliminate the virus entirely.
Most other governments have ended anti-virus controls and now depend on vaccinations and immunity from past infections to help prevent deaths and serious illness.
Businesses and residential communities from the manufacturing center of Guangzhou in the south to Beijing in the north are in various forms of lockdowns; measures that particularly affects blue-collarmigrant workers.
In many cases, residents say the restrictions go beyond what the national government allows.
Guangzhou suspended access to its Baiyun district of 3.7 million residents on Monday while residents of some areas of Shijiazhuang, a city of 11 million people southwest of Beijing, were told to stay home while mass testing is conducted.
“While China’s borders remain largely closed, the government has been optimizing and facilitating the exit and entry process for executives and specialized personnel of multinational companies and foreign businesses and their family members in China.”Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning
Mao Ning disclosed that China would continue to improve various COVID protocols “according to the science-based and targeted principles” to help facilitate travel and cooperation and exchanges with other countries.
China has an overall coronavirus vaccination rate of more than 92%, with most people having received at least one dose. However, far fewer older Chinese particularly those over age 80 have gotten the vaccines.