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China: Why employees who make iPhones in the country are protesting

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In the images it can be seen that police and people in protective suits are trying to contain the demonstrations with violence. In others, people who took part in the proceedings were seen smashing surveillance cameras and windows.




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Videos posted on the Internet show a protest by hundreds of workers at the world’s largest iPhone factory, located in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou and owned by Foxconn.

In the images it can be seen that police and people in protective suits are trying to contain the demonstrations with violence. In others, people who took part in the proceedings were seen smashing surveillance cameras and windows.

An employee who had just started working at the factory told the BBC that workers were protesting that Foxconn had “changed the promised contract”.

He also said new hires feared contracting Covid from workers who had stayed in factory lodgings during the previous outbreak.

Last month, rising covid cases caused the unit to shut down for isolation, prompting some workers to abandon the site and return home. The company then hired new employees with the promise of a generous bonus.

Footage broadcast live on a website shows workers shouting, “Stand up for our rights! Stand up for our rights!”

“They changed the contract so we couldn’t get the subsidy like they promised. They quarantine us but they don’t provide food,” a Foxconn employee says during the broadcast.

“If they don’t meet our needs, we will continue to fight.”



Foxconn employee on the day of the protest

The person in the video also claims to have seen a man “badly injured” after being attacked by police.

Another person who has just joined the company’s staff told the BBC he saw “a man with a bloody head lying on the ground” during the protest.

“I didn’t know the exact reason for the protest, but they are mixing new workers with old workers who tested positive. [para covid]’ he told the BBC.

What Foxconn says

In a statement, Foxconn said some workers had concerns about the amount of the subsidy, but that the company would meet the payment according to the contracts. Foxconn said it would work with its staff and local government to prevent further violence.

The company also said reports that new hires were being asked to share dormitories with colleagues who contracted Covid were “clearly false” rumours.

According to Foxconn, the dormitories were disinfected and checked by local authorities before new people moved into the premises.

The Taiwanese firm is Apple’s main subcontractor, and its Zhengzhou factory assembles more iPhones than anywhere else in the world.

In late October, many workers fled the factory amid rising Covid cases and allegations of employee mistreatment.

Images of workers returning by truck to their hometowns have been circulating on social media.

Since then, the company has decided to implement so-called “closed-loop operations”. The factory has been kept isolated from the wider part of Zhengzhou city due to covid outbreak.

Earlier this month, Apple said it expected smaller shipments of iPhone 14 models due to the production halt in Zhengzhou.

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Source: Terra

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