Tue, 31 Jan 2023

BEIJING, China: Social media posts have shown hundreds of workers protesting against a plan to delay bonus payments at Foxconn's flagship iPhone plant in China, with some workers smashing surveillance cameras and windows.

The rare scenes of open dissent at the massive factory in Zhengzhou city symbolizes the frustration with the country's strict COVID rules, as well as the handling of the lockdowns by the world's largest contract manufacturer.

Many demonstrators said on livestream feeds that the trigger for the protests, which began this week, was a plan to delay bonus payments.

In video footage, workers surrounded by people in full hazmat suits, some carrying batons, shouted "Give us our pay!", while other footage showed tear gas being deployed and workers tearing down quarantine barriers.

Some workers also complained that they were forced to share dormitories with colleagues who tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement, Foxconn said it had fulfilled its payment contracts, stating, "Regarding any violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the government to prevent similar incidents from happening again."\

Reuters reported that the factory's iPhone production could drop by as much as 30 percent in November, but Foxconn, which produces 70 percent of all iPhones, said it aims to resume full production by the second half of the month.

The company makes most of the iPhones at its Zhengzhou plant, but it also has smaller production sites in India and southern China.

Shares of Foxconn dropped 2 percent since the unrest began in late October.

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