The images had gone around the world. Workers at the world’s largest iPhone factory, located in Zhengzhou, China, rioted on Wednesday, November 23. The demonstrators denounced their working conditions and the non-payment of a bonus. This Thursday, the Foxconn group reacted to the incidents of the day before and offered disgruntled employees to leave the premises for a small sum of money.
The issue of bonuses on the table
As CNN reports, the Taiwanese group is offering 10,000 yuan ($1,400) to protesters to stop protesting and leave office. The employees received the proposal in a message sent by the company’s human resources. In detail, 8,000  yuan were promised if they agreed to leave Foxconn, and an additional 2,000  yuan if they boarded buses to leave the premises.
On Wednesday, the group’s new recruits rebelled against the management of the Zhengzhou plant. Workers set up barricades and clashed with company security guards. On social networks, these are real scenes of chaos that have been shared. The protesters were denouncing the company’s Covid policy, which mixed virus-positive workers with newcomers. Moreover, bonuses promised by the company would not have been paid.
“New recruits had to work more days to get the bonus they were promised, so they felt cheated“, explained a worker to CNN.
Foxconn pleads the “technical error“
In a press release, Foxconn mentions “a technical error during the onboarding process.” And to add: “We apologize for this input error in the computer system and guarantee that the actual remuneration is the same as that agreed.“Employees at the Zhengzhou site are now guaranteed to receive their bonuses”in accordance with company policies.”
Faced with these multiple tensions, Apple did not fail to react. “We are reviewing the situation and working closely with Foxconn to ensure their employees’ concerns are addressed.“, assures the apple brand in a press release. This Thursday, the workers who decided to leave the factory had indeed received their starting salary.
The Zhengzhou factory had already paid the price for the zero Covid policy imposed by China in recent months. Wednesday’s events are expected to further stretch the iPhone production line. Bad news for Apple a few weeks before the holiday season.