The world's largest iPhone production plant, operated by Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group in Zhengzhou, China, likely won't have a problem filling the vacant spots left by workers who have since fled after a COVID-19 outbreak hit the city.
A senior executive of the Taiwan-based contract manufacturer told Yicai Global that they have received more than 100,000 applications from candidates who are willing to work at the Zhengzhou plant, which is currently understaffed. The industrial facility is said to be in need of over 100,000 additional workers to return to full capacity. This means if all those who applied are hired, all the vacant positions can be filled.
Foxconn, however, continues to strictly implement quarantine measures in the massive central China plant, preventing it from onboarding a huge influx of workers. According to the South China Morning Post, hiring has been suspended from Thursday to Saturday due to limited quarantine capacity. But hiring is expected to speed up once the company resolves the capacity issue.
As part of the required measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the city, workers aren't allowed to leave the plant by any means. Potential candidates who are onboarding in this closed-loop system must go through a health check and quarantine at a designated location before they can be allowed on the production lines. New hires, meanwhile, must quarantine for four days.
The plant reportedly welcomed a batch of new workers on Sunday, the same day Henan Vice-Governor Sun Shougang paid a visit.
The local government supposedly deserves some thanks for Foxconn's latest recruitment efforts, having assisted the company in organising campaigns across the province and helping new workers accomplish quarantine requirements. That support is probably related to how important Foxconn is to local employment and foreign trade, a Henan-based researcher told Yicai Global. The plant accounts for up to 80% of Zhengzhou’s total imports and exports and 60% of the province’s tally.
Apple earlier this month warned customers that there could be a delay in new iPhone 14 shipments after waves of workers fled the Zhengzhou iPhone plant, which resulted in it "operating at significantly reduced capacity”. Foxconn started quadrupling daily bonuses in an attempt to persuade workers to stay. The company is now, similarly, giving these same incentives to returning workers. Among the reasons why workers fled include poor living conditions and fear of a food shortage.
Foxconn has received more than 100,000 applications from candidates who are willing to work at the world's largest iPhone production plant in Zhengzhou, China despite the strict quarantine measures that made a significant number of workers flee in late October.
The Taiwan-based contract manufacturer, however, has suspended the hiring process for three days due to limited quarantine capacity.
Potential candidates who are onboarding in the plant's closed-loop system must go through a health check and quarantine at a designated location before they can be allowed on the production lines.