Protests at Foxconn’s ‘iPhone City’ Plant Escalate and Turn Violent Over Lockdowns [VIDEO]

The protests at Foxconn’s ‘iPhone City’ plant in Zhengzhou, China are reaching a boiling point. The ongoing situation, which sees works in the midst of massive COVID-19 lockdown conditions is turning violent as seen by footage that has been released.

As frustrations mount for workers at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant, violent actions have taken place overnight. Footage published by Bloomberg Technology shows (in disturbing detail) workers fighting with officials. The workers can be fighting and attacking riot police officers as well as those fitted with hazmat suits. According to reports, these violent protests were ignited when the workers discovered their bonus payments would be delayed.

In October, COVID-19 concerns began surfacing as a new outbreak of the virus was spreading. At the time, Foxconn was adamant that the situation was minimal and that production of the iPhone 14 would not be heavily impacted. As the lockdown continued, living conditions worsened. The number of positive COVID-19 cases continued to rise and workers were to eat, sleep, work, and socialize only on campus. Food and medicine allotments took a toll and workers began walking out en masse.

Workers were encouraged to stay onsite and were promised bonuses for doing so. Foxconn offered free meals as well as a bonus of 1,500 yuan (around $280 CAD) to those working their scheduled shifts from October 26th to November 11th. However, at the start of November, the situation only got worse. Over 200 cases were reported and the facility was to enter a seven-day strict lockdown period to mitigate spread. PCR testing was also made mandatory by the government. The latest round of protests began on Tuesday. Workers were heard chanting “give us our pay” and “defend our rights.”

In a statement seen by Reuters, Foxconn dismissed the claims of unfit living conditions and amenities. The company continues to state, “Regarding any violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the government to prevent similar incidents from happening again.”

Foxconn had previously targeted a window of late November to be back at full capacity, working on the production of the iPhone. Given the latest worker unrest, it’s hard to determine whether that is realistic. One source told Reuters that it was unlikely as getting new recruits on the line by the end of the month doesn’t seem realistic.