Days after desperate workers fled the factory fearing strict Covid lockdowns, Chinese authorities on Wednesday ordered a seven-day lockdown of the area surrounding the Foxconn iPhone factory, per a report by AFP.
Reportedly, the lockdown will last till November 9 with the official version stating that the plant has entered seven days of “static management” which is a local term for lockdown.
A day before the lockdown, Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn which runs the plant announced a scheme providing monetary incentives to those who chose to stay at the plant.
As reported by WION, the company on its official WeChat account said that employees will receive a bonus of $55 (400 yuan) a day for November, as opposed to the earlier rate of $14 (100 yuan) if they stay at the plant.
Additional bonuses will be given to those who attend work for 15 days or longer in November, reaching $2000 (15,000 yuan) if they record full attendance this month.
The company, however, has had to face flak from several quarters for the way workers have attempted to escape the conditions. After some reports emerged, suggesting workers had died in the factory, the company was forced to release a statement.
“There are no deaths at our facility. We believe this is a maliciously edited video. The group is making every effort to ensure the production safety, and health and safety of colleagues.”
Notably, Foxconn produces 70 per cent of iPhone shipments globally and makes most of the phones at the Zhengzhou plant where about 200,000 people are employed by the company.
Under China’s ultra-strict zero-COVID policy, cities are mandated to act swiftly to quell any outbreaks, with measures that could include full-scale lockdowns.
On October 19, Foxconn banned all dine-in at canteens and required workers to take their meals in their dormitories. The situation only deteriorated afterwards and the workers were forced to take emergency measures.