Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant needs at least 10,000 workers for production resumption: insiders
Published: Nov 11, 2022 07:12 PM
Workers at a production workshop of Foxconn's technology park in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province on September 4, 2021. The park is a major global smartphone manufacturing base. Photo: VCG

Workers at a production workshop of Foxconn's technology park in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province on September 4, 2021. The park is a major global smartphone manufacturing base. Photo: VCG

Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant, a major production base for iPhone products, is scrambling with the mass recruitment in restoring production capacity, with some 10,000 new workers needed for its manufacturing operations, while the factory is continuing to do a good job when it comes to dynamic epidemic prevention and control under government regulations and support, the Global Times has learned from two sources close to the company's recruitment team.

Incentives have been rolled out for recruitment which include high salaries for hourly workers and one-time bonuses for ex-workers who return to the company, the sources said. Meanwhile, the epidemic prevention and control measures remain in place to ensure the smooth and full resumption of production.

A recruitment manager told the Global Times on Friday that the Zhengzhou manufacturing compound is in urgent need of more workers to smooth the production while the company is filling the gap of the absent workers who left the compound amid the escalated epidemic situation in the region.

"We only recruit hourly workers at the moment, preferably from within Henan Province for epidemic control purposes. These workers are mainly for the iDPBG group - the one that makes iPhone," the source said.

In order to draw new workers, hourly wages are being maintained at 30 yuan ($4.18) per hour - a high level compared with a previous range of between 23 and 25 yuan, they said, noting that at least 10,000 new workers are needed.

Employment for hourly workers will last until February 15, 2023.

Ex-staff who have resigned from October 10 to November 5 will be given a one-time care subsidy of 500 yuan after re-entry, another person close to Foxconn's recruitment department said, who also confirmed that over 10,000 workers are needed for the plant.

In order to help Foxconn's plant achieve a full resumption of operations, some local towns and villages in Henan have reportedly been tasked with assisting the company in recruiting workers, and have assigned quotas to the villages and towns under their jurisdiction, according to media reports.

An employee with the publicity department of a local county in Jiaozuo in Henan, told the Global Times on Friday that not all of Foxconn's workers had returned to their hometowns.

It is a good thing for them to return to work since this helps to solve the unemployment problems, and that is only if the workers are willing to, the person said.

In welcoming employees to return to work, dormitories in the Foxconn manufacturing compound are undergoing upgrade, facility maintenance and thorough sterilization, according to media reports.

In order to do a good job for epidemic control while ensuring operations are unaffected, Chinese authorities released 20 optimized measures on Friday to further improve scientific and precise work of the COVID-19 prevention and control, in which the implementation of epidemic control for enterprises and industry park is particularly highlighted.

The latest prevention and control measures requests corresponding units to formulate an epidemic prevention and control plan while establishing a full system of responsibility from enterprises and park management to workshop teams and front-line workers.

Meanwhile, the large-scale recruitment is being conducted in line with epidemic control. For example, the current recruitment is for pre-registration while the actual check-in times will be announced after the factory has completed the "static management" period. Employees will be transferred under closed-loop management.

"New or returned workers will be under quarantine at local hotels for seven days and return to work if the nucleic acid test results are negative," the recruitment manager said, adding that some workers are returning to the factory.

The company said on November 5 that it would start point-to-point closed-loop management protocols for workers commuting between dorms and factory, with only three routes opening during the period.

The factory, which accounts for around half of the total iPhone output globally, has been operating under closed-loop management while battling against the epidemic under the assistance of the local government.

While the epidemic situation has temporarily impacted the primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max assembly in Zhengzhou, with significant reduction of the production capacity, as Apple stated in its recent statement, the situation is improving.

Regarding the situation of the group's Zhengzhou campus, Chairman and CEO Young Liu said in a company's statement on Thursday that "facing this epidemic, Hon Hai is continuously making adjustments, in compliance with government regulations."

"From rapid testing to dine-in to assist employees to return home, Hon Hai wishes to look out for the rights of the employees and the safety of production, under the prerequisite of employees' health and in respect to their wishes. Currently, after undergoing these adjustments, the overall situation is gradually getting on track," Liu said.