HomeBusinessStick-wielding men smash surveillance cameras at China iPhone plant

Stick-wielding men smash surveillance cameras at China iPhone plant

SHANGHAI, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Men with sticks smashed surveillance cameras and windows on a massive Apple-owned campus (AAPL.O) supplier Foxconn (2317.TW) in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, scenes were broadcast live on the short video platform Kuaishou on Wednesday.

Hundreds of workers protested on campus, home to the world’s largest iPhone factory, with many chanting “give us our wages”. They were surrounded by people in full protective suits, some with batons.

The images, which could not be immediately verified by Reuters, come after weeks of unrest in which dozens of workers fled the factory due to COVID-19 controls.

Many former employees have spoken out about food shortages and rigid quarantine rules, and Foxconn has had to offer incentives, including bonuses, to retain or lure employees. read more

Several people said on the live stream feeds that they were protesting after being told this week that they would receive 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 were protests at the Zhengzhou campus, but declined to provide more 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 tearing down barriers set up to quarantine areas as part of China’s zero-COVID policy, or arguing with hazmat-ready personnel.

Other videos showed workers complaining about the food they were served while in quarantine or complaining that there were insufficient curbs to contain an outbreak.

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Relentless controls and spot lockdowns across China have sparked discontent across the country, hitting economic growth and heightening concerns about global supply chains as companies scramble to keep factories running as workers become infected.

Foxconn has maintained so-called closed-loop operations at the factory due to COVID outbreaks in Zhengzhou – a system in which staff live and work isolated on site from the rest of the world.

The curbs and dissatisfaction have hit production, leading Apple to say earlier this month that it expected fewer deliveries of premium iPhone 14 models.

Foxconn, formerly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, is Apple’s largest iPhone maker, accounting for 70% of iPhone shipments worldwide. It makes most of its phones at its Zhengzhou factory, where it employs about 200,000 people, though it also has other smaller production sites 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

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

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