Update: iPhone maker Foxconn boosts bonuses after lockdown breakout over Covid-19

    A woman carrying an umbrella walks past the logo of Foxconn outside a company building.

    Apple supplier Foxconn says it has quadrupled daily bonuses at a giant iPhone plant in China after a breakout by workers during a Covid lockdown.

    The firm says bonuses for assembly line workers at its manufacturing plant in Zhengzhou, central China will be raised to 400 yuan ($54.90) a day.

    At the weekend a video showed people jumping a fence outside the plant.

    Chinese people and businesses are continuing to grapple with President Xi Jinping’s rigid zero-Covid policy.

      On the WeChat social media platform, Foxconn also said that people who worked for more than 25 days a month at the world’s largest iPhone factory would be awarded a maximum bonus of 5,000 yuan, up from 1,500 yuan.

      It added that those who put in their “full effort” in November – without taking any leave – could be paid a total bonus of more than 15,000 yuan for the month. The firm said the bonuses were part of an effort to “gradually resume orderly production” and “thank our fellow employees’ persistence”.

      The lockdown comes at a critical period for Foxconn, which is now making the new iPhone 14 for Apple.

      Taiwanese firm Foxconn, which is a major supplier to US-based Apple, has hundreds of thousands of workers at its Zhengzhou complex. It has not yet provided an official count of how many people had been infected by the coronavirus at the plant.

      Last Wednesday, Foxconn said a “small number of employees” in Zhengzhou had been “affected by the pandemic” and were being provided with “material supplies, psychological comfort and responsive feedback”.

      “At present, the epidemic prevention work in Zhengzhou is progressing steadily, and the impact on the group is controllable. The operating outlook for this quarter remains unchanged,” it added.

      Workers also claimed that the area surrounding the plant had been locked down for days, with Covid-positive workers being quarantined and tested daily to try to contain the outbreak.

      On Sunday, Foxconn said it would no longer require workers at the plant to eat meals in their rooms “to improve the convenience and satisfaction of employees’ lives”. It added that it was working with the local government to provide a “point-to-point orderly return service” for workers who wanted to go home.

      Zhengzhou, which is a city of about 10 million people, has been partially locked down, as authorities continue to impose the country’s strict zero-Covid policy. Other businesses in China have been hit by coronavirus outbreaks in recent days.

      Foxconn employees take shuttle buses to head home in Zhengzhou in the Henan province of China.
      Foxconn workers leaving the Zhengzhou plant on Sunday

      On Wednesday, Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio confirmed that it had suspended production at two of its factories in the eastern city of Hefei, which would affect production and deliveries.

      Earlier this week, the firm reported that it had delivered more than 10,000 vehicles in October.

      It said the figures were “constrained by operation challenges in our plants as well as supply chain volatilities due to the Covid-19 situations in certain regions in China”.

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