Foxconn Workers Walking Out After Latest COVID-19 Outbreak

Foxconn employees are reportedly walking out en masse following the latest COVID-19 outbreak at the Zhengzhou, China facility.

Recently, Foxconn confirmed that it is facing its latest COVID-19 outbreak. At the time, the company did not state specific numbers of those affected. However, Foxconn did state that it was able to maintain normal production at the time as it has “little impact (from the situation.)”

China largely maintains a zero-COVID-19 policy, meaning that closed-loop production scaling is implemented during lockdowns. Workers congregate, sleep, eat, and work on campus in order to maintain the economy without disruptions.

According to The Washington Post (via 9to5Mac), Foxconn workers have begun to leave as a result of the conditions throughout the latest lockdown. Reportedly, those working at the Zhengzhou facility, which is the world’s largest iPhone assembly plant, claim infection numbers are only rising. Additionally, living conditions are made worse as Foxconn is said to be struggling to provide enough food and medication for those in quarantine. As a result, workers are leaving the site with no intention of returning.

Foxconn has since denied reports regarding provisions of food and medicine. The company claims that it is working with staff to provide transportation for those who wish to leave and return home. Additionally, Foxconn states that it is offering additional production capacity at its smaller plants in order to compensate for the situation at its Zhengzhou plant. Plus, in order to help mitigate the walkouts, Foxconn is said to be offering free meals and a bonus of 1,500 yuan (around $280 CAD) to those who work each of their shifts from October 26th to November 11th.

There’s currently no telling how the walkouts may affect the greater iPhone production. Currently, Foxconn is ramping up the production of the iPhone 14 lineup. However, Apple is also diversifying its supply chain outside of China. Assembly of the iPhone 14 has even kickstarted in India.