The China’s largest iPhone factory was the scene of a brutal repression by the police to the workers, who claimed for a salary dispute. The events began on Tuesday and lasted until Wednesday, and included a strong operation that sought to quell these protests with great violence.
This is not the first episode that shakes the facilities of Foxconn, the largest contractor for the assembly of smartphones and other electronic devices in China. The company, hired by Applehad faced another controversy last month after thousands of employees left the factory in Zhengzhou to complaints about unsafe working conditions.
As a result of these events, the ensemble of the last iPhone 14 has been delayed.
The Chinese regime has spent weeks trying to contain the new wave of coronavirus infections that plagues the country. However, despite its zero covid policy, it is trying to suppress the outbreak without closing factories and the rest of its economy, as happened during 2020. To do this, they resorted to isolating workers inside factorieswithout allowing them any contact with the outside.
These conditions were what led many employees to run away from their jobsso Foxconn was forced to offer much more attractive contract conditions so as not to lose its status as a technology exporting power.
Thus, the company offered higher salaries -of 25,000 yuan o USD 3.500– but retracted this increase in the last hours. This sparked the fury of employees who had traveled long distances to take jobs at the factory.
“Foxconn put out very tempting recruitment offers, and workers from all over the country came, only to find they were being taken for a ride,” said employee Li Sanshan.
He also added that upon arrival they were told that they had to work two more months with a lower salary in order to receive the promised 25,000 yuan.
Sanshan even said that he had given up a position in the hotel industry when he saw the high pay offered by the factory.
The videos did not take long to go viral on the networks and show the violent response adopted to contain the riots. The policemenwho wore white protective suits and riot shieldsThey kicked and hit the protesters with batons.
Apple Inc. has not commented on the matter although, in the past, it had warned of delays in deliveries of the iPhone 14 after access to an industrial zone around the factory was suspended.
Meanwhile, Foxconn assured that their contractual obligations on payments have “always been met”.
“In regards to any type of violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the government to prevent similar incidents from happening again,” the company continued in a statement.
These protests in Zhengzhou come at a time when the Communist Party is facing a growing frustration of citizens as a result of the restrictions by the coronavirus once again imposed in multiple cities of the country, which have led to restrictions and strict confinements.
In the past three weeks, more than 253,000 cases and the daily average is increasing, according to the government. Even this week they reported the first deaths from the disease in six months.
These episodes translate to other cities across the country, where people tore down barricades set up to enforce neighborhood lockdowns.
(With information from AP)