-Sharmishte Datti


iPhone Factory Workers Face Police Brutality Protesting Pay Issues

Apple has landed in the soup yet again, this time for a dispute in China at the Foxconn assembly factory. Police have beaten up workers protesting a pay dispute at the biggest iPhone manufacturing factory. The workers have been protesting in the central city of Zhengzhou following complaints about unsafe working conditions.

Foxconn is currently the biggest contract assembler of smartphones and other electronics, including Apple’s iPhones. The factory has been struggling to fill orders for the newly launched iPhone 14 as thousands of employees have walked away from the site. Moreover, China has imposed new controls to contain the surge of COVID-19 cases.

Foxconn Workers Beaten Up By Police

Presently, China is bringing in methods to contain the virus, including “closed-loop management” where workers live in factories with no outside contact. Previously, Foxconn offered higher pay to assemble iPhones, in a bid to attract more workers.

However, things took a turn on Tuesday, November 22. Employees who had traveled long distances to take the job with higher pay complained that Foxconn had changed the terms of their pay. Reports quote an employee Li Sanshan, who quit a catering job to join Foxconn, which promised CNY 25,000 (around Rs. 2,80,000) for two months of work.

However, when employees arrived at the factory, they were asked to work for two additional months at a lower pay, Li explains. Soon after, protests broke out at the company and thousands of people in masks took to the streets. But now, police have kicked workers and even beat them with clubs.

What Happens to iPhone 14 Now?

Li further states that the protests lasted through Wednesday (November 23) morning and thousands of workers gathered outside dormitories and confronted security staff at the factory. It looks like the issue hasn’t been cleared yet, despite the Chinese Communist Party secretary saying their demands would be met and urging protesters to withdraw.

Apple hasn’t commented or responded to the situation yet. Previously, Foxconn had also warned that iPhone 14 deliveries would be delayed due to suspended access to an industrial zone around the Zhengzhou factory.

“Regarding any violence, the company will continue to communicate with employees and the government to prevent similar incidents from happening again,” the Foxconn company statement said. More news of the situation is expected to surface in the coming days.

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