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Uproar in Chinese iPhone factory, employees agitated over salary dispute

Beijing. Workers at the world’s largest Apple iPhone factory in China were beaten and detained over a contract dispute amid restrictions imposed by the coronavirus. This is visible in some videos posted on social media on Wednesday and eyewitnesses also gave this information. Videos from the Zhongzhou factory, available on Chinese social media, showed thousands of masked protesters confronting police in white protective suits.

One man was clubbed over the head and another was taken away with his hands tied behind his back. The post on social media said that these people were protesting against the breach of contract. Due to Coronavirus infection in China, shops and offices were closed for a long time and millions of people had to remain locked in their homes for several weeks. Disturbed by these restrictions, people have demonstrated in some areas. Last month, thousands of workers walked out of a factory operated by Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group Co over complaints of inadequate protection against the coronavirus and no help for co-workers who fell ill.

Factory worker Li Sanshan said he demonstrated on Tuesday after conditions were changed for new workers who came to the job because of the offer of higher wages. Li (28) said he had quit his job because of an advertisement promising 25,000 yuan (USD 3,500) for two months’ work. He said the workers were told they would have to work two extra months for less pay to receive the 25,000 yuan, which angered them. “Foxconn made very tempting offers to recruit, and people from all over the country came to work, but they found they were being fooled,” Li said.

Demonstrations have increased amid a resurgence in infection cases in China, including Beijing. Authorities this week reported the country’s first death from the infection in six months. The government said on Tuesday that more than 2,53,000 cases of infection have been found in the last three weeks and the daily average is increasing. Apple Inc had earlier warned that new iPhone 14 models would be available in the market with a delay due to restrictions imposed on the Zhengzhou factory. The city government restricted access to the industrial area around the factory. Foxconn company said that 2,00,000 people are employed in this factory.

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