Violence Breaks Out At iPhone Factory in China

On Tuesday, violence broke out in Zhengzhou, China, between the police and the workers of a Foxconn factory which is the largest producer of iPhones. The workers were protesting in front of the factory when video footage showed the police begin to attack them. 

Media outlets in China reported 100,000 people applied for the factory positions advertised by Foxconn. One employee, Li, quit his catering job when he saw an “advertisement promising 25,000 yuan ($3,500) for two months of work.” A starting salary is significantly higher than the average pay in the area. Other employees told news outlets that hundreds of them had spent money moving to Zhengzhou because of the promised wages. 

“Foxconn released very tempting recruiting offers, and workers from all parts of the country came, only to find they were being made fools of,” Li said.

Unfortunately, once the workers began working, Foxconn told them they would need to accept less pay than promised for the first months. A communist party official has since addressed the employees to tell them their needs would be met. 

“Regarding any violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the government to prevent similar incidents from happening again,” a company statement said.

After the protests this week, Foxconn offered 10,000 yuan ($1400) to the “newly hired employees who want to quit and return home.”

These protests come as the Chinese government faces pressure due to the covid-19 pandemic. The government’s covid-19 policies remain zero tolerance, and recent outbreaks caused lockdowns. This week, the government reported “a total of 31,656 cases found over the past 24 hours, including 27,646 without symptoms and 212 infections it said were acquired abroad. The total was up about 10% from the previous day.”

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