The business that makes Apple Inc.’s iPhones issued an apology on Thursday for a wage dispute that led to employee demonstrations at a factory where anti-virus measures had halted production.
To entice workers to the facility in the capital city of Zhengzhou, Foxconn Technology Group altered the terms of the wages being provided.
Following a walkout by workers last month over concerns about unsafe working conditions, Foxconn is attempting to restore its staff.
Videos posted on social media showed cops striking and clubbing workers during the Tuesday-to-Wednesday protest that broke out.
Blaming a “technical glitch” in hiring new staff, Foxconn—the largest contract manufacturer of smartphones and other electronics for Apple and other major brands—promised to pay the workers what they were due.
A firm statement added, “We regret a computer input error and promise that the actual salary is the same as agreed and the official recruitment posters.
“Try its best to solve the issues and legitimate requests of employees actively,” it pledged.
The conflict arises as the country’s Communist Party, which is in power, attempts to control an increase in coronavirus infections without closing factories, as it did in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic.
By shortening quarantine periods and implementing other tweaks to China’s “zero-COVID” plan, which attempts to isolate every case, authorities promised last month to lessen economic damage.
Despite this, the rise of infection has caused authorities to close offices, stores, and restaurants in some areas of several cities and suspend entry to neighborhoods and factories.
Eight districts in Zhengzhou, with a combined population of 6.6 million, were ordered to keep everyone inside for five days on Thursday.
A “war of annihilation” against the virus was called, and daily mass testing was mandated.
Apple had already issued a warning that iPhone 14 deliveries might be delayed after workers in the Zhengzhou factory walked out and access to the area around the site was suspended due to breakouts.
Employees claim that Foxconn offered 25,000 yuan ($3,500) for two months of work to entice new employees, which is close to 50% more than what news reports claim the company’s maximum salary to be.
According to an employee, Li Sanshan, workers claimed that they were informed they had to work an additional two months at a lower salary to obtain a higher rate after they arrived.
According to anonymous recruiting agents quoted by the finance news outlet Cailianshe, Foxconn gave up to 10,000 yuan ($1,400) to new workers who opted to quit.
In a statement released by Foxconn on Thursday, it was stated that departing employees would get undefined “care subsidies.”
For those who stayed, “extensive support” was guaranteed.
Public discontent about restrictions that have forced millions of people indoors is the cause of the protests in Zhengzhou.
Social media videos depict locals removing barricades erected to control neighborhood closures.
The New Taipei City, Taiwan-based Foxconn corporation previously disputed claims made online that infected workers were found living in industrial dorms.