CNN Business in Hong Kong
In an effort to end protests that saw hundreds of people struggle with police forces at the complex in central China, Foxconn has offered to pay freshly hired workers 10,000 yuan ($1,400) to quit and leave the largest iPhone assembly factory in the world.
In a text message sent to staff members on Wednesday, the Apple supplier made the offer in response to dramatic images of violent protests on its campus in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province.
The corporation asked staff to “please return to your dormitories” on the campus in the message, which CNN was able to view. Additionally, it promised to pay them 8,000 yuan if they agreed to leave Foxconn and 2,000 yuan once they boarded buses to depart the enormous facility completely.
The specifics of the new recruits’ compensation packages and Covid-related worries about their living arrangements sparked the protest, which started on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the situation became more and more violent as workers fought with numerous security personnel, including SWAT team members.
Videos of law enforcement personnel striking and kicking demonstrators while wearing hazardous suits have been making the rounds on social media. Some workers were observed pulling down fences, hurling bottles and obstacles at police, wrecking and flipping police cars, and tearing down barriers.
After receiving Foxconn’s payment offer and fearing a more severe crackdown by authorities, workers returned to their dormitories around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, and the protest largely died down at that point, a witness told CNN.
In October, a Covid outbreak struck the Zhengzhou plant, forcing it to lock down and causing a large-scale flight of workers. Following the commencement of a significant hiring drive, more than 100,000 people applied for the listed opportunities at Foxconn, according to Chinese official media.
The employees were promised a 3,000 yuan bonus after 30 days on the job and an additional 3,000 yuan to be paid after a total of 60 days, according to a document outlining the wage plan of new hires that CNN was able to get.
The new hires were informed by Foxconn that they would only receive the first bonus on March 15 and the second installment in May, which means they would have to work through the Lunar New Year break, which begins in January 2023, in order to earn the first bonus payment.
The employee told CNN that the new hires felt taken advantage of because they had to work more hours to receive the incentive that had been promised.