Thu, 30 Mar 2023

Zhengzhou [China], February 7 (ANI): The Foxconn factory based in Zhengzhou province, known as the I-Phone city, has been facing protests from its employees for mistreatment of the workforce, misleading hiring ads and improper salary payments resulting in hindrance on the assembly line, reported Voices Against Autocracy (VOA).

Whenever Apple launches a new model amid the busiest season, Foxconn often offers extra pay and bonuses to ensure that its assembly chain functions properly. In response workers and college students take on heavy workloads, skip holidays, and adhere to a strict schedule to avail of the offered bonuses at the end of the month, the VOA said.

The report claimed that the salary offered to the Foxconn workers reportedly is about 2,200 Yuan (USD 324) which is less than what is needed to make the ends meet. However, during the peak production season, Foxconn offers to pay for overtime hours and lucrative end-of-month bonuses. And as the season ends it cuts down the overtime bonuses in an attempt to shrink bonuses.

Last year, Foxconn used WeChat to announce the recruitment by sharing a poster. It illustrated a sack of gold coins and promised 10,000 Yuan (USD 1,474) in bonuses if workers joined and stayed for 90 days. Later when the Covid wave broke out in China in October 2022, the factory announced a 'closed-loop' system.

It banned workers from leaving the compound and required them to quarantine for at least three days before entering. In adherence to the regime's zero covid law.

The report by VOA cited a Wall Street Journal report which said that Foxconn's founder Gou wrote a letter addressed to the Communist Party of China regarding the stringent zero-Covid measures that were threatening China's position in global supply chains. Even though Gou's office denied sending the letter, China eased out its zero-Covid norms in mid-November 2022.

After the economy opened, the factory again launched an aggressive recruitment campaign to fill the posts vacated due to the workers leaving. This time it increased daily and monthly bonuses and also its hourly base pay. The new employees could now make 10,000 yuan (USD 1,474) a month, working 10 hours a day for six days a week for two months. The factory this time also dishonoured its promise to pay the monthly bonuses as promised in the advertisement posted by itself, the report claimed.

Resulting, a huge protest was done by the employees over the unfair treatment of labourers, confusion over wages and bonuses, unpaid Covid-19 quarantine protocols and filthy living conditions. Several videos surfaced on social media around the world showing hundreds of workers outside the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou protesting. This was over overdue pay and some workers escaping the Foxconn facility by climbing fences and walking to their villages on foot, and the police mercilessly suppressed these protests, the report claimed.

An interview given to local media revealed that there were strictly timed hour-long lunch breaks, a windowless workshop that smelled of chlorine, and strict working conditions which included wearing an antistatic gown and a face mask at all times.

After these protests, the company offered to pay 10,000 (USD 1,400) to newly recruited employees who had decided to leave the factory and vowed to honour the pay agreements, in an attempt to quell unrest after workers violently clashed with police, following which, nearly 20,000 workers left the company.

The Chinese media in this case is also suppressing the voice of the protesting employees of Foxconn. ANI)

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