Taipei, Nov 25 – More than 20,000 employees at Apple Inc’s supplier Foxconn’s huge Chinese plant, mostly new hires not yet working on production lines, have left, it told Reuters on Friday. a Foxconn source familiar with the matter.
Exits from the world’s largest iPhone factory present a new headache for the Taiwanese company, which has been hit hard by strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fueled unrest among workers and halted production ahead of the holidays. of Christmas and the Lunar New Year of January.
Concerns about Apple’s ability to supply products for the busy holiday period are mounting as worker unrest lingers at the Zhengzhou plant, which produces the US company’s popular iPhone 14 models.
The departures will complicate Foxconn’s goal of resuming full production by the end of November after the sometimes violent unrest, the source said.
Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, declined to comment. Apple, which said Thursday it had staff at the factory, declined to comment Friday.
In a rare case of open dissent in China, employees have complained about sharing bedrooms with co-workers who have tested positive for COVID. They claim they were misled about compensation premiums at the factory which accounts for 70% of global iPhone shipments.
On Thursday, Foxconn offered 10,000 yuan ($1,400) to disgruntled employees who agreed to resign and leave the plant.
The company apologized for a “technical error” related to payment at the time of hiring, which, according to the workers, was a factor that led to clashes with security personnel.
Videos posted on Chinese social media on Friday showed crowds and long lines of baggage-laden workers queuing for buses. “Time to go home,” one person posted.
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