iPhone worker bonuses raised three times in one month

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iPhone worker bonuses raised three times in one month

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant – colloquially known as iPhone City – appears to be struggling to recruit and retain enough staff. The company is reported to have raised iPhone worker bonuses three times in one month as it preps for mass-production of the iPhone 15.

In particular, Foxconn is offering substantial incentives for remaining on the production line for at least three months, to see it through the busiest period, and avoid a repetition of last year’s major disruption …

iPhone City crucial to the iPhone 15 launch

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant is the largest iPhone production facility in the world, employing more than 200,000 workers, and assembling an estimated 80% of the world’s iPhone supply. Ensuring sufficient capacity throughout the summer, and avoiding any problems, will be key to Apple being able to meet demand for the iPhone 15 line-up.

There was major disruption at the plant late last year, following a COVID outbreak. Workers complained at a lack of food and medication, and significant numbers chose to break out of the plant and return to their home towns.

Subsequent bonus offers had limited effect, and failure to pay them led to violent protests. Attempts to appease workers with compensation saw more than 20,000 workers leave.

Most of Zhengzhou was subsequently released from lockdown, but the Foxconn plant was designated “high risk,” and therefore remained in closed-loop production for a further fortnight.

iPhone worker bonuses raised a third time

Bonuses didn’t prove much help last year, and it seems that the same has been true so far this year. Two previous raises still didn’t persuade workers to either join or remain at the plant, so the company has now offered workers even more money.

South China Morning Post reports.

From Monday, new employees will be entitled to receive bonuses of up to 3,000 yuan (US$424) for at least 90 days of work at the factory, while drawing an hourly pay of up to 21 yuan, according to a WeChat post on Saturday by Foxconn’s integrated Digital Product Business Group, which is responsible for iPhone production.

Existing workers at the factory can obtain a referral bonus of 500 yuan, according to the post. Taiwan-based Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, has already raised worker benefits twice this month.

While the sums sound small by US standards, that’s around a month of extra base salary – or more than a 30% bonus for someone who works three months. The recruitment bonus is equivalent to around one week’s pay for each extra worker they bring into the plant.

Foxconn’s CEO recently reassured workers that the company had no plans to leave its second-largest base, in Chengdu, after concerns were expressed about the Taiwanese company’s significant expansion in India. Notably, however, Liu Young-way stopped short of promising that it wouldn’t reduce jobs in the city.

Zhengzhou building photo: Jéan Béller/Unsplash

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