How Foxconn, Apple’s chief hardware assembler, cracks down on workers protesting low wages, detention conditions and a ban on leaving the factory

How reported CNews, Foxconn workers attempted an exodus a few weeks ago. Then they complained about the impossibility of even eating normally – they were locked in rooms and workshops, but they were not given enough food, as a result of which many of them literally starved.

The current protests have resulted in physical violence. The guards, obviously taking advantage of the fact that their faces were hidden under masks, without any hesitation beat the workers with clubs, and when they fell, they used their feet. At the time of publication of the material, it was not known how badly the beaten employees suffered, but Bloomberg writes that there are still some victims among them.

Fear of death

Foxconn workers’ protests look like a well-planned action, although not very massive. Held in their dorm rooms, they ran out almost simultaneously and tried to break through the guards. However, the rebellion was suppressed due to the numerical superiority of the guards.

According to one of the protesters, Foxconn, as an employer, has never treated its workers properly. Another worker noted that the company does not care about the health of its employees at all. Earlier it became known that the number of people infected with coronavirus at the Foxconn plant exceeded 20 thousand people.

The protesters demanded that they be released because they do not want to catch the disease. “I am really afraid of this place, now we can all be infected with COVID,” one of the workers said. “You are sending us to our deaths,” another Foxconn employee added.

deny everything

The Zhengzhou factory was operating as normal, Foxconn said. At one point, some of the newly arrived employees complained about “work subsidies.” These include bonuses and other additional payments on top of regular wages, Foxconn said in a statement.

A Foxconn spokesman stressed that the company processes and issues such amounts to employees in full in strict accordance with its contractual obligations.

“With regard to violence, we continue to communicate with workers and the government to avoid a recurrence,” the company said, without elaborating.

BBC Russian Service, 11/23/2022, “Workers rebel at Foxconn’s Chinese factory that assembles Apple smartphones”: Smartphone maker Foxconn has confirmed incidents of violence during a wave of protests at its largest assembly plant in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou in Henan province. […] Workers at the world’s largest iPhone maker say management has changed their contracts.

In a statement, Foxconn confirmed that some workers had doubts about pay, but the company promises them payments in accordance with their employment contracts. She also called “knowingly false” rumors that newcomers are being asked to share dorm rooms with covid-infected workers. Foxconn claims the rooms were sanitized and inspected by local authorities before new workers were moved in. On the live feed site from the factory, workers could be seen chanting “Protect our rights!” while others smashed security cameras and windows with sticks.

“They changed contracts so that we didn’t get the promised bonus. They keep us in quarantine, but they don’t provide food,” one of the workers said during a live broadcast. “If they don’t meet our demands, we will continue to fight.” The same man claimed to have personally seen a severely maimed man who was beaten by the police. — Inset

The situation is heating up

It is not yet clear how Foxconn management intends to resolve the situation. However, such an incident is a clear indication that tensions among employees are growing very quickly at her Zhengzhou plant.

The Chinese authorities introduced new covid restrictions in October 2022, after which many of the 200,000 people working at the factory found themselves in isolation. They are forced to eat Spartan, plus they have a shortage of medicines that they are not provided with in the right amount.

After the escape of the “prisoners” earlier at the end of October 2022, he showed the company’s management that the situation was clearly heating up. However, the only thing she offered to the runaway workers was a one-time payment of only $69 (4,185 rubles at the exchange rate of the Central Bank on November 23, 2022), which the WCCFTech portal called “measly” (measly).

The new protest shows that this measure was not sufficient. It is not yet clear what the new steps of Foxconn’s leadership will be. Apple, whose products are manufactured by the company’s factory in Zhengzhou, remains deadly silent and does not comment on what is happening.

Gazeta.Ru, 11/24/2022, “Apple contractor in China apologized to protesters at Zhengzhou factory”: Representatives from Foxconn, which assembles Apple products in China, apologized to their employees at a factory in Zhengzhou city after workers began protesting against severe covid restrictions and delays in wages. About it writes to BBC.

Foxconn claims that a “technical error” occurred during the recruitment process for new employees. Because of this, according to the BBC, many people did not receive the promised bonuses. According to the protesters themselves, they have already begun to receive the required payments from the company, and many employees are returning to the factory. — Inset

Proven Method

The protest as a way to convey to management their dissatisfaction with working conditions was previously used at Apple technology factories. December 2020 CNews covered a similar incident at Wistron’s Apple iPhone assembly plant in Nirasipur, India.

If we compare these two cases, then Foxconn employees have something to strive for. If in their case several hundred people protested, and it all ended in a scuffle with guards and kicking, then in India everything was much more ambitious.

A pogrom was carried out at the Wistron plant by 2,000 people. They destroyed everything in their path, wanting to take revenge on their leadership for fraudulent wages. As it turned out, the plant paid them half as much as promised, and even constantly delayed payments.

The size of the damage caused to the Wistron plant was not disclosed. There is also no information about the fate of the protesters. However, after almost two years since then, there have been no new reports of delays in the wages of factory workers.

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