Foxconn Unrest Can China’s Loss Be India’s Gain As A Manufacturing Destination
Hardly anyone can forget the horrific conditions of the global pandemic, especially the second wave of Covid-19. When it had become a threat to our life, livelihood and economy. Although people are now returning to their everyday lives. They are returning to routine, foreign companies are coming forward and the economy is picking up pace. Despite this, Kovid still remains a threat to normal life as well as economic activities. For the first time in humans, Kovid-19 spread from Wuhan, China in early December 2019. Since then, this virus has been spreading mostly through human-to-human contact around the world.
Covid not only affected human lives, but also severely affected global supply chains across the world. This has caused a big blow to the economic activities and they have derailed. It is still becoming the reason for deaths, serious diseases and changing the pattern of life. Things have barely changed for the public in China, the epicenter of the pandemic, with strict pandemic rules still in force under its ‘zero-covid’ policy. According to the World Health Organisation, China has recorded 97.14 lakh crore coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with 5,226 deaths due to the infection.
The Chinese administration believes that an uncontrolled Covid outbreak will put many vulnerable people and the elderly at risk, so the government has forced a zero-Covid policy on its people to overcome the epidemic and save lives and livelihoods. ) is following. Due to this policy of China, factories and ports here remained closed for a long time. In a way, the country’s longest curfew has been imposed here and 40 lakh Chinese people have been banned from leaving their homes for 3-4 months. These restrictions have also been imposed on public movement in and out of the city amid a surge in Covid cases.
However, the lockdown measures are not working, as daily coronavirus cases show that the zero-covid policy has largely failed. This is affecting not only dealing with foreign companies in this country, but also businesses and consumers in the rest of the world. The reason for this is that China is known as a country that exports goods on a large scale in the world. Salmon is supplied to most of the countries of the world from this country.
Nearly three years into the global pandemic, China has so far stuck to a strict zero-covid control policy. His obstinacy is hurting investors hoping for the reopening of the world’s second largest economy. The fire of protests against the Kovid lockdown in China has also started reaching the plants of foreign companies in this country. The most recent case is that of massive employee unrest at Apple’s iPhone plant. Such situations in China are telling that everything is not going well there.
This is putting pressure on the economy and fueling widespread despair. China’s strict restrictions have changed the everyday life of the people. It has also shaken the economy. Due to this, there has been a wave of protest of the workers. Disappointment has increased in the public with this policy of China and the loss caused to people and communities since last fortnight has now turned into unique demonstrations like White Paper. The large-scale protest against dire odds is now garnering international attention.
My latest survey indicates that Foxconn will accelerate the expansion of iPhone production capacity in India after Zhengzhou iPhone plant’s COVID-19 lockdown. https://t.co/xQm39OBGpH
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) October 4, 2022
Labor unrest at China’s largest iPhone factory
About 2 lakh employees work in the Foxconn iPhone plant. This plant located in Zhengzhou city of China is considered to be one of the largest plants of this company in the world. Workers’ resentment over strict Covid rules inside the site has affected this plant as well. To prevent the spread of Kovid-19 infection, a partial lockdown was imposed in this plant.
The administration of this city has banned access to the industrial area surrounding this iPhone factory. The latest protest is a result of widespread employee discontent at the plant and it is like a bottleneck for Apple. Foxconn prohibited all meals in the mess and canteen and asked workers to take their food to their dormitories. In such a situation, many employees were complaining about the uncertainty of the conditions and not getting enough food.
Many people have left the factory fearing Covid and thousands are demanding freedom from the lockdown. A video circulating on Chinese social media shows Foxconn employees carrying luggage to their hometowns. To keep them on the job, Foxconn has offered more bonuses.
According to a CNN report, however, the newly hired employees said that the management has gone back on its promises. According to Foxconn’s WeChat account, daily bonuses for workers were offered to increase from the previously announced 100 yuan to 400 yuan a day for November.
A Reuters report said that employees who have worked more than 25 days at this Apple plant can now get a maximum bonus of 1500 yuan to 5000 yuan. In addition, the workers who tried to work full time at the plant, that is, did not take any leave during the whole of November, will be paid a total of more than 15,000 yuan for the month. Such conditions in China can attract global companies like Apple to set up manufacturing plants in India.