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Foxconn offers to pay workers to leave world’s largest iPhone factory after violent protests

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Foxconn has offered newly hired workers 10,000 yuan ($1,400) to quit the world’s largest iPhone assembly plant to quell protests that have clashed with security forces at a factory in central China. offered to pay.

Apple’s supplier made the offer Wednesday in a text message sent to employees by the company’s human resources department after dramatic scenes of violent protests on campus in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province. .

in the message, CNN, the company urged workers to “return to the dormitories” on campus. He also promised to pay 8,000 yuan if he agreed to leave Foxconn, and another 2,000 yuan after he took a bus to leave the sprawling property.

Protests erupted Tuesday night over the terms of the new recruits’ payment packages and COVID-related concerns about their living conditions. It became more violent.

Videos circulating on social media showed a group of law enforcement officers in hazmat suits kicking and hitting protesters with batons and metal rods. Some workers were seen breaking down fences, throwing bottles and barriers at officers, and smashing and overturning police cars.

Around 10 p.m. Wednesday, the protests had largely subsided as workers returned to their dormitories after receiving an offer of payment from Foxconn and fearing a tougher crackdown by authorities, a witness told CNN.

The Zhengzhou factory was hit by a COVID outbreak in October, forcing a lockdown and leading to a massive exodus of workers fleeing the outbreak. Foxconn later launched a massive recruiting drive, with more than 100,000 people signed up to fill open positions, according to Chinese state media.

Workers are promised a bonus of 3,000 yuan after 30 days of work, with an additional 3,000 yuan paid after a total of 60 days, according to a document describing the new employee’s salary package seen by CNN.

However, according to the workers, they were told by Foxconn that after arriving at the factory, the new hires would only receive their first bonus on March 15 and their second bonus in May. , will start in January 2023 and will receive its first bonus payout.

“New hires felt cheated because they had to work more days to get the promised bonuses,” a worker told CNN.

Foxconn said in a statement Thursday that it fully understands new hires’ concerns about “potential changes in subsidy policy” and that it was due to “a technical error that occurred during the onboarding process.” criticized.

“We apologize for any input errors in our computer system and assure you that the actual payment is the same as agreed,” the company said.

Foxconn has been in contact with employees to ensure that salaries and bonuses are paid “in accordance with company policy,” the company said.

Apple, where Foxconn makes a variety of products, told CNN Business that its employees are at its Zhengzhou facility.

“We are assessing the situation and working closely with Foxconn to ensure employee concerns are addressed,” the company said in a statement.

Some workers who agreed to retire received the first portion of their payments on Thursday morning, workers said in a livestream, queuing outside to get COVID tested while waiting for a departing bus. showed workers. Later in the day, a livestream showed a long line of workers boarding a bus.

But for some, the problem isn’t over yet. After being driven to Zhengzhou railway station, many were unable to get tickets to go home, another worker said in a Thursday afternoon livestream. Thousands of workers were stranded at the station, he said, pointing the camera at a crowd of people.

Zhengzhou will impose a five-day lockdown starting at midnight on Friday in urban areas, including the railway station, officials previously announced.

violent protest

According to social media videos and eyewitness accounts, the protests began Tuesday night outside the workers’ dormitories on the sprawling Foxconn campus, with hundreds marching and chanting slogans such as “Down to Foxconn.” rice field. The video showed workers clashing with security guards and fighting off police-fired tear gas.

The standoff continued until Wednesday morning. The situation quickly escalated when numerous security forces, mostly clad in white protective suits and some with shields and batons, were deployed to the scene. The video showed a line of police vehicles marked “SWAT” arriving at the campus, which normally has about 200,000 employees.

More workers joined the protest after watching live streams on video platforms Kuaishou and Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, workers told CNN. Many livestreams were cut or censored. Online searches for “Foxconn” in Chinese are limited.

Some protesters marched to the main gate of the production facility, which is located separately from the workers’ dormitory, to disrupt assembly operations, workers said.

Other protesters have taken the extra step of breaking into the production compound. According to workers, they smashed COVID test booths, glass doors and advertising boards at restaurants in production areas.

After working at the Zhengzhou factory for six years, he said he was deeply disappointed with Foxconn and was planning to quit. His basic monthly income is 2,300 yuan, but during the pandemic he works 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, and he earns 4,000 to 5,000 yuan a month, including overtime.

“Foxconn is a Taiwanese company. Not only did it fail to spread the values ​​of Taiwan’s democracy and freedom to the mainland, it was assimilated by the CCP and became extremely cruel and inhumane. It’s so sad. “

Although he was not one of the recruits, he protested in support of them, adding:

(The-CNN-Wire & 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved. )

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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