Top Apple supplier Foxconn apologizes after worker protests

The giant Taiwanese company that assembles Apple’s iPhones in China has apologized over a wage dispute that sparked worker protests at a factory where anti-virus controls have slowed production.

Employees complained that Foxconn Technology Group changed the wage terms offered to attract them to the factory in downtown Zhengzhou.

Foxconn is trying to rebuild the workforce after employees left last month over complaints about unsafe conditions.

Videos on social media showed police officers in white hazmat suits kicking and hitting workers during the protest, which broke out on Tuesday and lasted into the next day.

Foxconn, the largest contract manufacturer of smartphones and other electronics for Apple and other global brands, blamed a “technical error” in hiring new employees and said they were being paid what they were promised.

“We apologize for an error in the computer system and guarantee that the actual payment corresponds to the agreement and the official recruitment posters,” the company said in a statement.

It promised to “do its best to actively resolve employees’ concerns and legitimate demands.”

Apple late Wednesday said it had employees on site at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility.

“We are reviewing the situation and working closely with Foxconn to ensure employee concerns are addressed,” the Cupertino, California-based company said.

The row comes as the ruling Communist Party is trying to stem a surge in coronavirus cases without shutting down factories like it did in 2020 at the start of the pandemic.

His tactics include “closed-loop management” or the employees living at their workplaces without outside contact.

Apple had previously warned that iPhone 14 deliveries would be delayed after employees left the Zhengzhou factory.

Access to the industrial area surrounding the plant has also been closed following Covid outbreaks.

To attract new workers, Foxconn offered $3,500 for two months of work, or nearly 50 percent more than news reports say the highest wages usually are. Top Apple supplier Foxconn apologizes after worker protests

Fry Electronics Team

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