TAIPEI – Apple’s main supplier Foxconn said Thursday there was a “technical error” in hiring new recruits at a COVID-hit iPhone factory in China and apologized to workers after the company was rocked by fresh labor unrest.
People smashed surveillance cameras and windows as hundreds of workers protested at the factory in Zhengzhou city on Wednesday, in a rare scene of open dissent in China fueled by claims of unpaid wages and frustration over severe COVID-19 restrictions.
Workers said in videos circulated on social media that they had been informed that Foxconn planned to suspend bonus payments. Some workers also complained that they were forced to share dormitories with colleagues who had tested positive for COVID.
“Our team has been looking into the issue and discovered that a technical error occurred during the entry process,” Foxconn said in a statement.
“We apologize for the typo in the computer system and ensure that the actual salary is the same as the agreed salary and the official recruitment posters.
The largest protest had been called off on Thursday and the company was in contact with workers involved in smaller protests, a Foxconn source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The Taiwanese company said it would try to address concerns and meet workers’ demands, with “corresponding care allowances” available for those who want to return to their hometowns.
The Zhengzhou factory employs more than 200,000 people to make Apple Inc devices, including the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
The man said the company had reached “initial agreements” with workers to resolve the dispute and production at the plant resumed Thursday. (Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Sandra Maler and Stephen Coates)