SHANGHAI, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Men with sticks smashed security cameras and windows at a huge campus owned by Apple (AAPL.O) supplier Foxconn (2317.TW) in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, scenes broadcast live in the Kuaishou short video were revealed on Wednesday platform.
Hundreds of workers protested on campus, home of the world’s largest iPhone factory, where many chanted “Give us our wages.” They were surrounded by people in hazmat suits, some carrying batons.
The images, which Reuters could not immediately verify, come after weeks of turmoil that saw scores of workers flee the factory for COVID-19 controls.
Many former workers have spoken out about food shortages and strict quarantine rules, and Foxconn has had to offer incentives, including bonuses, to keep or lure workers. Continue reading
Several people said in the livestream feeds that they were protesting after being informed this week that they would be receiving their bonuses later than originally promised.
“Foxconn never treats people like people,” one person said in social media footage of the scenes.
Two sources with knowledge of the matter said there had been protests at the Zhengzhou campus but declined to give further details.
Foxconn and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As of 0515 GMT, most of the footage had been removed. Kuaishou did not respond to a request for comment.
Some videos showed people breaking down barriers erected around quarantine areas or arguing with staff dressed in hazmat suits as part of China’s zero-COVID policy.
Other videos showed workers complaining about the food they had been provided with during the quarantine or complaining that there were insufficient curbs to contain an outbreak.
Relentless controls and selective lockdowns across China have fueled discontent across the country, hampering economic growth and escalating concerns about global supply chains, while companies struggle to keep factories running if employees become infected.
Due to COVID outbreaks in Zhengzhou, Foxconn 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 outside world.
The restrictions and dissatisfaction have hit production, prompting Apple to say earlier this month that it expects lower shipments of premium iPhone 14 models.
Foxconn, formerly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, is Apple’s largest iPhone maker and accounts for 70% of global iPhone shipments. It makes most of the phones at its Zhengzhou plant, where it employs about 200,000 people, although it has other smaller manufacturing facilities in India and southern China.
Reporting by Brenda Goh and Beijing Newsroom; Additional reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen and Yimou Lee in Taipei; Edited by Edmund Klamann and Edwina Gibbs
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