Foxconn apologizes for pay dispute at China factory
BEIJING (AP) — The company that assembles Apple Inc.'s iPhones apologized Thursday for what it said was a technical error that led to protests by employees over payment of wages offered to attract them to a factory that is under anti-virus restrictions.
Protests erupted Tuesday in the central city of Zhengzhou after employees complained Foxconn Technology Group required they do extra work to receive the higher pay promised by recruiters. Foxconn is trying to rebuild its workforce after thousands of employees walked out last month over complaints about unsafe conditions.
Videos on social media showed police in white protective suits kicking and clubbing protesting workers.
Foxconn, the biggest contract assembler of smartphones and other electronics for Apple and other global brands, blamed the dispute on a “technical error” in the process of adding new employees. It promised they would receive the wages they were promised.
"We apologize for an input error in the computer system and guarantee that the actual pay is the same as agreed and the official recruitment posters," said a company statement. It promised to “try its best to actively solve the concerns and reasonable demands of employees.”
The dispute comes as the ruling Communist Party tries to contain a surge in coronavirus cases without shutting down factories, as it did in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Its tactics include “closed-loop management,” or having employees live at their workplaces without outside contact.
Authorities promised last month to reduce economic disruptions by cutting quarantine times and making other changes to China's “zero-COVID” strategy, which aims to isolate every case. Despite that, the infection surge has prompted authorities to suspend access to neighborhoods and factories and...