iPhone Production Could See 30 Percent Drop After Foxconn Plant Protests

iPhone production may drop by at least 30 percent at Foxconn’s factory in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou after labor unrest disrupted operations, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday. The estimate was an upward revision to an internal October forecast of a production impact of up to 30 percent at the world’s largest iPhone factory, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is confidential.

Following labor unrest this week, the source added that it was unlikely the company would resume full production by the end of the month – a deadline it had set internally before Wednesday’s wave of protests.

Foxconn declined to comment.

Earlier on Friday, Reuters reported that more than 20,000 workers, most of whom were new hires who had not yet worked on the production line, had left Apple’s Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, China, citing a Foxconn source familiar with the matter. The person said the move would complicate the company’s goal of resuming full production by the end of November, following labor unrest that rocked production at the world’s largest iPhone factory.

Foxconn has apologized for making a “technical error” related to the payment of new hires, which workers say led to protests that included clashes with security forces.

Labor unrest at a Zhengzhou factory that began on Wednesday marked a rare scene of dissent in China with workers saying they were fueled by long pay claims and frustration over strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, a second Foxconn source familiar with the matter said that some new hires have left the facility but did not elaborate on how many. The person said the move has not affected current productivity, as new employees still have to undergo training before working online.

Foxconn launched a hiring plan earlier this month promising bonuses and higher salaries after it was forced to halt measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in October. The collapse forced the company to lay off many workers and factory conditions caused many to flee.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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