The Zhengzhou plant of Apple iPhone maker Foxconn is facing an exodus as 20,000 employees, most of them new hires have left, Reuters reported. This comes at the heels of protests fuelled by discontent among workers over Covid-19 restrictions, which disrupted production.
Most of the new hires had not yet started working on the production line. This could have a domino effect on Apple's production targets, especially ahead of Christmas and January's Lunar New Year holiday. The factory accounts for 70 per cent of global iPhone shipments.
Covid-19 cases in China have been on the rise. China reported 31,527 on Wednesday. The mainland, as a result, expanded lockdowns. Workers at the Zhengzhou Foxconn factory were protesting against the iPhone maker on Wednesday. Protestors had turned violent, smashing surveillance cameras with batons and breaking some make-shift Covid-19 testing centres. The Zhengzhou region went into lockdown a day after the protests.
Foxconn apologised for the unrest saying that a technical error in the company's system caused delays in payments and that employees will be paid what was promised during the hiring.
The unrest exposed a mistrust of Foxconn management among some staff. Earlier this month, the company had launched a hiring drive, promising higher salaries, Reuters reported.