iPhone production could drop by at least 30 percent at Foxconn’s factory in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou after labor unrest disrupted operations, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday. The estimate is an upward revision to an internal forecast from October of a production impact of up to 30 percent at the world’s largest iPhone factory, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is private.

After worker riots at the plant this week, the source added that it was “impossible” for the company to resume full production by the end of the month, a deadline it had set internally before Wednesday’s wave of protests.

Foxconn declined to comment.

Earlier on Friday, Reuters reported that more than 20,000 workers, most of them new hires not yet working on the production line, had left Apple supplier Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou, China, citing a Foxconn source familiar with the matter. the question. The person said the walkouts would complicate the company’s previous goal of resuming full production by the end of November, following worker unrest that rocked production at the world’s largest iPhone factory.

Foxconn has apologized for making a “technical error” related to pay in the hiring of new employees, which workers say was a factor that led to protests that included clashes with security staff.

Labor unrest at the Zhengzhou factory that began on Wednesday marked rare scenes of open dissent in China, which workers say have fueled claims for back pay and frustration with strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, a second Foxconn source familiar with the matter said some new employees had left the campus, but did not specify how many. The person said the walkouts had no impact on current production as new staff still had to go through training courses before working online.

Foxconn launched a hiring drive earlier this month, promising bonuses and higher wages after it had to introduce measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in October. The curbs forced the company to isolate many employees, and conditions at the plant caused several to flee.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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