In an unusual move by the local government to protect its place in Apple’s supply chain, China’s Henan province is mobilizing its grassroots governance system to help recruit workers for the largest iPhone factory in the world, operated by Foxconn Technology Group in the provincial capital Zhengzhou.
Brutal Covid-19 lockdowns disrupted production at the plant, which typically employs more than 200,000 people. As a result, Apple issued a rare declaration alerting about a slowdown in consignments of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, raising concerns about whether China is still the best location for Apple’s production facilities.
Foxconn’s Workers Fled From The Compounds
Three employees, who were among the several people who left Foxconn’s gated enclosure in the previous two weeks out of concern for the virus, revealed to the Post that they had received phone calls from cadres in their hometowns pushing them to return to the assembly lines.
One employee, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that a local cadre even offered to pay him a 600 yuan (US$83) cash bonus in addition to the 500 yuan bonus that Foxconn already provides to returning employees. Since the beginning of the month, the company has also tripled its daily attendance bonus, bringing it to 400 yuan. According to a story published this week by the Chinese publication National Business Daily, several towns in Henan have been asked to send at least one worker, but this request is more of a suggestion than a necessity.
Additionally, village cadres will probably be in charge of organizing the logistics of returning employees’ transportation, such as scheduling shuttle buses for point-to-point transportation.
The three employees who talked to the Post all said that they declined the offers made by the cadres, citing things like poor living circumstances and insufficient compensation as justifications.