Foxconn Raises Pay to Lure Workers Leaving COVID Measure: Reports

  • Major iPhone maker Foxconn is raising wages in a bid to lure defectors back.
  • The Foxconn factory has been mired in COVID restrictions since the outbreak broke out at its facility.
  • Factory workers in Zhengzhou, China were filmed climbing fences and walking to their hometowns.

Apple’s biggest iPhone maker, Foxconn, is raising workers’ wages at its factory in Zhengzhou, China, after some of its workers began leaving the site to escape strict pandemic measures following an outbreak, according to various media.

Foxconn, which employs about 200,000 workers at the factory, raised hourly pay by as much as 36 percent to about $5.20 an hour for “key positions,” Bloomberg reported Monday. The agency cited sources who declined to be named because the wage increase was not publicly announced.

Meanwhile, Foxconn said it would raise daily bonuses for workers at its Zhengzhou factory to $55 a day for the month of November, Reuters reported.

Before the recent wage increase, Foxconn workers earned about $1,082 a month, the South China Morning Post reported in January.

Reports of a Foxconn wage increase come amid a critical period as Apple tries to produce the new iPhone 14 for the holiday season. Foxconn produces about 70 percent of Apple’s global iPhone shipments, according to Reuters.

Reuters reported on Monday that the pandemic measures mean iPhone production could be cut by as much as 30%.

Its factory in Zhengzhou went into closed-loop mode in mid-October after coronavirus cases emerged there – a response that adheres to China’s strict zero-covid-19 policy. Under the closed-loop system, workers are shuttled from their dormitories to the factory and back, and are not allowed to leave the premises.

The threat of food shortages became a source of unrest, as workers on production lines were given boxed meals but other workers were given only basic foods such as bread or instant noodles, Bloomberg reported on Oct. 28.

Frustrated with their new living conditions, some workers were filmed climbing fences at the Zhengzhou factory and trekking to their hometowns miles away. A 20-year-old worker said she and her brother walked 25 miles with their luggage to get home, Bloomberg reported.

Foxconn previously told Insider that it was “aware that under the current situation, it is a protracted battle to protect the health and safety of more than 200,000 workers at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou park.”

The iPhone maker further said it was arranging transportation for employees who wanted to return home after videos of its workers walking home went viral on Chinese social media.

Foxconn and Apple did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment for this story.

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