The world’s largest iPhone factory in central China told staff Tuesday it would quadruple their bonuses if they remained at the plant after scores of workers fled a Covid outbreak at the facility, IgbereTV reports
China is the last major economy committed to a zero-Covid strategy, persisting with snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines in a bid to stamp out emerging outbreaks.
But new variants have tested local officials’ ability to snuff out flare-ups faster than they can spread, causing much of the country to live under an ever-changing mosaic of Covid curbs.
Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou has been under lockdown since mid-October, with the company saying it is testing employees daily and keeping them in a closed loop.
But complaints from workers circulating on Chinese social media have alleged poor working conditions and inadequate virus protection for employees who are not infected.
Videos shared online over the weekend showed Foxconn employees fleeing the company’s campus and returning to their hometowns on foot, in a bid to avoid Covid travel restrictions.
Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant said on its official WeChat account that, starting from Tuesday, employees will receive a daily bonus of 400 yuan ($55) for showing up to work — quadruple the previous subsidy of 100 yuan a day.
Staff will also receive additional bonuses if they attend work for 15 days or longer in November, reaching 15,000 yuan if they record full attendance this month.
Foxconn — which supplies iPhones to US tech firm Apple — has promised to do more to help employees and organise buses to transport workers back to their hometowns should they wish to leave, in what it has called a “protracted battle” against the virus.
Local governments in the area surrounding the city asked fleeing workers to register with authorities if they returned home and to complete several days of quarantine upon arrival.