TAIPEI: More than 20,000 employees, most of them new hires not yet working on the production line, have left Apple supplier Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant in China, a Foxconn source close to Reuters told Reuters on Friday. folder.
The person said the departures would complicate the company’s previous goal of resuming full production by the end of November, following labor unrest that rocked production at the world’s biggest iPhone factory.
Foxconn declined to comment.
The worker quits come after the Taiwanese company on Thursday offered 10,000 yuan ($1,396) to employees who wanted to quit and leave the beleaguered factory.
He had apologized for making a pay-related ‘technical error’ when hiring new recruits, which workers say was a factor that led to protests involving clashes with staff of security.
Videos posted Friday on Chinese social media showed crowds and long lines of luggage-laden workers queuing for buses. “It’s time to go home,” read one of the posters.
Labor unrest at the Zhengzhou plant that began on Wednesday marked rare scenes of open dissent in China that workers say fueled claims of late payment and frustration over tough COVID-19 restrictions. .
A second Foxconn source familiar with the matter said some new recruits had left campus but did not specify how many. The person said the departures had no impact on current production, as new staff still had to complete training courses before working online.
The unrest comes at a time when China is seeing record numbers of COVID-19 infections and grappling with growing lockdowns that have fueled frustration among citizens across the country. But it also revealed miscommunication and distrust of Foxconn management among some staff.
Foxconn launched a hiring campaign earlier this month promising bonuses and higher wages after having to adopt measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in October. Curbs forced the company to isolate many employees, and plant conditions prompted many to flee.
($1 = 7.1616 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Yimou Lee; Additional reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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