More than twenty thousand employees of the largest iPhone factory in the world, in Zhengzhou, China, are leaving the company. Several international news agencies report this on Friday. This mainly concerns employees who have just started working at the factory. The Taiwanese Foxconn, the owner of the factory, offered a severance payment of 10,000 yuan (1,300 euros) on Thursday – mainly intended to pay for the journey home – to counter the unrest about corona measures, unpaid wages and working conditions. The twenty thousand departing employees have used that compensation.

    Foxconn employees have been in lockdown on the factory site since mid-October due to a corona outbreak. This week the factory was in the news because employees revolted against the strict corona policy and the non-payment of wages. They clashed with security guards.

    70 percent of all iPhones

    On Thursday, Foxconn apologized: according to the electronics group, wages were not forthcoming due to a “technical error”. The same day, the company also announced the severance package. The workers are leaving quickly because the Chinese authorities have announced a lockdown in eight districts in Zhengzhou due to the rising corona figures – a new daily record was broken on Friday with 33,000 infections. The measures take effect on Friday at midnight (5 p.m. Dutch time).

    More than 70 percent of all iPhones are made in the Foxconn factory. The fact that 10 percent of the 200,000 employees are now leaving means that the factory can produce less – especially since employees already fled the factory at the end of October out of dissatisfaction with the lockdown on the site. Apple may therefore not be able to meet the demand for iPhones in the coming period.

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