Apple Inc.’s manufacturing partner is trying yet another special payout to workers in China to soothe unrest and restore production at the world’s biggest iPhone factory, a flashpoint in Beijing’s efforts to sustain its economy while fighting Covid infections.
Foxconn Technology Group is offering workers who left the Zhengzhou complex between Oct. 1 and Nov. 10 an extra 30 yuan (RM18) an hour on top of their regular wages through December and January, as well as a returnee bonus of 500 yuan (RM313). They can get a 3,000 yuan (RM1,888) bonus after staying 30 days, plus another 6,000 yuan (RM3,777 in January if they work 23 days or more, according to a notice posted on social media service WeChat.
Foxconn and Apple rolled out a series of extra payments and incentives after violent protests broke out against lockdowns imposed at the factory to address a rise in Covid infections. The companies said over the weekend they would pay as much as 13,000 yuan (RM8,185) a month in December and January to full-time workers who had joined at the start of November or earlier.
Apple is facing a shortfall of iPhone 14 Pros during the critical holiday shopping season because of production problems in China. The companies estimate the troubles in Zhengzhou will cut output by close to 6 million units of the Pro devices, its most in-demand models. The phones start at about US$1,000 (RM5,299 in Malaysia), suggesting that could represent at least US$6 billion (RM27.04bil) in lost revenue.
The situation at the complex known as iPhone City remains fluid and the amount of lost production could change depending on conditions. Much will depend on how quickly Foxconn can get people back to assembly lines after the protests.
The enormous complex hosts upwards of 200,000 workers during peak iPhone production season. However, thousands left after Foxconn offered recent employees US$1,400 (RM6,310) apiece as severance, aiming to usher out disgruntled staff. – Bloomberg