Why Apple Factory Workers Getting Paid To Leave Their Jobs

Apple is offering pay to factory workers that willingly leave the Foxconn campus where violent protests have broken out in recent days.

By Brian Scheid | Published

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Wednesday violent worker protests continued at the Foxconn factory in the Zhengzhou province of China. This was the second consecutive day of clashes with authorities at the largest I Phone assembly plant in China. Now in a dramatic turn of events Apple has offered the Apple factory workers 8,000 yuan if they agreed to quit the Foxconn factory and another 2,000 yuan after they board the buses to leave the site.

The workers are protesting a disparagement of what they were promised by Foxconn to earn as a starting bonus and what appeared on their paychecks after their first 30 days of employment. There are videos circulating on social media sites depicting groups of law enforcement wearing hazmat suits violently battling with protesters. Using batons and metal rods they are seen clubbing and kicking protesters as they try to resist leaving the area as they are being asked to go back to their dormitory’s

Another source of contention from the Apple factory workers is the dormitory living conditions as substandard and considered not safe. Last month the factory lost a great deal of its workforce due to a Covid outbreak that ran rapidly through the workers living there. That was what triggered Foxconn to start a massive hiring blitz of 100,000 workers and promised a 3,000 yuan starting bonus after the new hires had worked 30 days and an additional 3,000 yuan after 60 days.

According to CNN Business, “after arriving at the plant, the new recruits were told by Foxconn that they would only receive the first bonus on March 15, and the second installment in May – meaning they must work through the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts in January 2023, to get the first of the bonus payments.” This is when the unrest started brewing as the workers felt they now must do more work to earn bonuses that should have already been paid out and that Foxconn is changing the terms of their working agreement after the fact. The result of the protests has extremely violent and physical confrontations with security and law enforcement.

Protesters marched from the dormitory’s which house over 200,000 workers to the main gate of the production facility compound as they attempted to block assembly work from occurring. Some of the protesters broke into the production compound and smashed Covid testing booths, glass doors, and advertising boards. It became so unruly that the police started launching tear gas at the mob of disgruntled workers.

CNN Business reported comments from Foxconn representatives regarding the bonus pay changes says, “Foxconn was communicating with employees and assuring them that salaries and bonuses would be paid “in accordance with company policies,” On Thursday some Apple factory workers had agreed to take the offer to quit and leave the facility but upon reaching the train station were finding out that there were no tickets available to purchase to be able to leave the province. This has now stranded thousands of former Apple factory workers without shelter until they can get a ticket to head home.

These protests are not showing any signs of slowing and will have far reaching impacts throughout China whose citizens are growing tired of the treatment of the working class and the substandard living conditions and treatment. It’s so bad that Apple is willing to pay them a full month’s wage just to leave and not come back.