On the morning of Wednesday, November 23, a group of Chinese workers, at the largest iPhone factory in China rebelled against their bosses.
The workers demanded better working conditions and pay, as well as an end to awful restrictions around COVID.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Foxconn Technology employees have complained about the situation in which they are forced to work at the iPhone factory.
China’s Zero COVID policy requires many rules and standards to be followed to the letter in factories and businesses across the country, preventing the spread of the disease but also making every day a huge mess of bureaucracy and regulations.
Why Are Employees So Angry?
According to Foxconn’s employees, the biggest problem has been with regard to the housing conditions where most of them sleep in nearby dorms.
They claim that the conditions are extremely precarious and dirty, which raises the risk of COVID-19 contamination.
The protest became violent on Wednesday and the tension became even greater as the group of workers began confronting the factory’s security guards.
Videos of the revolt began to leak on the Internet.
In some videos, you can see the scenes unfolding as it all started and happened.
In one of the work areas there is a group of workers who end up clashing with security guards, while another video shows a worker being beaten by a group of security guards.
While the fighting was going on, the workers who watched the scene encouraged their colleague to fight the security guards.
Foxconn has made headlines in the past for having suicide nets around its buildings to stop employees from killing themselves, so it’s clear that it’s not exactly a dream job for everyone.
CHINA: Protests getting out of hand at Foxconn iPhone plant in Zhengzhou tonight where workers are rebelling against Covid harsh restrictions and work environment pic.twitter.com/xwe2oAHYge
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) November 23, 2022
Workers Rush the Barricades
At the same time as some employees fought security guards, hundreds of other workers struggled to overcome the barricades.
It was a scene of intense tension as a police car approached and was then also attacked by Foxconn employees.
The immediate cause, in addition to the poor dorm conditions, appears to have been that a few employees weren’t properly paid on Tuesday night.
It’s clear that a lot goes on behind the scenes to make iPhones and that far left CEO Tim Cook isn’t exactly running an ethical company.
A Foxconn worker shared live footage from the ongoing protest at the Zhengzhou factory. He said workers had marched out from their dorms this morning to demand compensation, now they are facing riot police. pic.twitter.com/6QypLaekA5
— Viola Zhou (@violazhouyi) November 23, 2022
Cracking Down on COVID?
In addition to the tension over unpaid wages, a Chinese communist government official had recently come to the factory to talk about how COVID safety measures weren’t sufficient.
Xi Jinping’s strict COVID rules have become increasingly controversial in China and we can see how they also lead to anger in situations like this where workers feel they are being restricted by rules but still not being protected.
Perhaps Tim Cook should take a trip to the factory and give a speech about human rights. Then again he could also just give the workers a raise: I’m sure they’d appreciate that more.