BEIJING: Apple supplier Foxconn said it has quadrupled bonuses offered to workers at its factory in Zhengzhou in central China as it works to quell employee discontent at its main iPhone manufacturing site over Covid restrictions.

The daily bonus for employees, who are part of the Foxconn unit responsible for making electronics including smartphones on site, has been raised to 400 yuan ($54.72 or RM 259) per day for November from the previously announced 100 yuan (RM64.65) bonuses. ), according to the official WeChat account of Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory.

Foxconn, officially Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, is Apple’s largest iPhone manufacturer, and produces 70% of iPhone shipments globally.

Most of the phones are made in the Zhengzhou factory, which employs about 200,000 people, although it has other smaller production sites in India and southern China.

The Zhengzhou factory was shaken by dissatisfaction with strict measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, as many workers fled the site over the weekend after complaining about the treatment and rulings via social media.

On Monday, Reuters reported, citing a source, that iPhone production in November could fall by as much as 30% at the factory due to the situation and that Foxconn is ramping up production at another factory in Shenzhen to make up for the shortfall. .

Foxconn shares fell 1% yesterday, trailing a 0.4% gain in the broader index.

The original bonus scheme was initially outlined in an article in the government-backed newspaper Henan Daily on Monday citing an unnamed senior Foxconn executive.

The company said yesterday’s Foxconn notice also said that those who work for more than 25 days can receive a maximum bonus of 5,000 yuan (RM3,232) for the month, up from the previous cap of 1,500 yuan (RM969.7), as part of an effort to “recommence Gradually Organized Production” and “Thanked our fellow employees for perseverance.”

The notice added that those who put in their “full effort” during November, including forgoing any leave, could receive a total of more than 15,000 yuan (RM9,697) for the month.

A typical Foxconn worker earns 3,000 to 4,000 yuan (RM1939.4 to RM2,585.9) per month.

Videos circulating on social media show Foxconn workers departing with luggage and walking along village roads toward their home towns.

The footage, which cannot be independently verified, as well as employee accounts shared with Reuters showed the turmoil caused by China’s no-coronavirus policy to the public and businesses.

The country’s zero-sum approach to Covid-19 requires localities to act quickly to curb the outbreak with measures including closures, but it allows factories in affected areas to remain open provided they operate under a “closed-loop” system where employees live and work on site.

However, companies have complained about the system’s difficulties and costs to employees. Several people who said they worked for Foxconn turned to social media to complain about not receiving enough food or about the uncertainty of the situation. – Reuters

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