Amid ongoing problems related to coronavirus management in China, Foxconn, a major manufacturer of Apple iPhones in Taiwan, is reportedly trying to get its employees back.
Last week, videos showed workers appearing to flee the “iPhone City” factory, scrambling over fences and onto the road on foot.
On Sunday, Reuters reported: that the factory operator, Foxconn, posted on a WeChat recruiting account that it was offering workers 500 Yuan to return to the factory. That’s about $68 USD.
New workers, the post added, will be paid 30 yuan (about $4) per hour (it’s unclear if this is a higher wage than was previously offered). The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Apple announced in a statement Sunday that its new iPhone models, the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, are being delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions at a relevant facility in Zhengzhou, China.
“The facility is currently operating at a significantly reduced capacity. As we have done during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prioritizing the health and safety of workers in our supply chain,” the statement said.
Various companies and industries manufacturing in China have been affected by the country’s “zero-COVID” policy, which began in the early pandemic.
Last week, videos surfaced online of workers trying to get out of the 200,000-person factory, reportedly to escape the facility’s strict lockdown conditions during a COVID outbreak.
Reuters too reported that COVID-related issues could reduce iPhone output at the facility by about 30%. The plant is called “iPhone city,” and workers there have been reported to be exposed to harsh conditions.
The plant is operated by Foxconn, a contractor who: makes 70% of Apple’s iPhones. About 1.3 million people work in mainland China, according to: the guardand said it hit over $200 billion turnover in 2021.
“Foxconn is now working with the government in a concerted effort to eradicate the pandemic and resume production at full capacity as soon as possible,” Foxconn said Monday. according to the AP.
China’s economic growth has also slowed as a result of the policy, the outlet noted.
Apple introduced a range of new iPhone 14s at its annual product launch in September. They don’t have physical SIM cards and now have an “always-on” lock screen, among other new features.
The Pro and Pro Max versions are also the most expensive models with a price tag of $999 and $1099 respectively.
“We continue to see strong demand for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models,” the company said.