HONG KONG ( Associated Press) – The company that assembles Apple Inc’s iPhones has announced it is easing its COVID-19 protocols at its biggest factory in China, as restrictions force thousands of workers to shut down production. Had to leave
Foxconn Technology Group announced in a statement on one of its official accounts on the WeChat social media platform that it will end the “closed loop” system at its Zhengzhou plant in central China, requiring workers to go into lockdown at their workplaces and residences. Had to To prevent coronavirus infection.
The decision announced on Wednesday came a week after China imposed tough measures despite a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Many of the restrictions have been lifted after a series of protests across the country last month. Now citizens are not required to undergo regular COVID-19 tests to travel in public transport. If they test positive, they can be isolated at home if they have little or no symptoms, instead of being sent to quarantine centres.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government has officially committed to curbing the contagion. But his latest measures suggest officials will tolerate more infections without quarantining or suspending travel or business activity.
Thousands of workers at the massive factory in Zhengzhou quit in late October amid complaints of unsafe working conditions – food shortages due to cafeteria closures – and virus outbreaks at the plant.
The final quarter of the year is often a busy time for companies like Foxconn, which ramp up production ahead of the Christmas shopping season. Apple has warned that the delivery of the iPhone 14 may be delayed due to manufacturing.
Foxconn, which is based in New Taipei, Taiwan, has been trying to rebuild its workforce since mass resignations in late October. The company apologized after a wage dispute sparked protests by employees, who said Foxconn had changed pay terms it had offered to lure them to the plant.
In its announcement, the company indicated that it would stop providing free meals to workers due to the reopening of factory cafeterias. Instead, the cost of the food will be deducted from workers’ wages as usual, although employees who must self-quarantine after testing positive for the virus will still receive free food.