Video Shows Police Beating iPhone Factory Workers Protesting Over Wage Dispute

Newly released live footage shows Chinese police beating protesting Foxconn factory workers at a manufacturing facility in Zhengzhou, China, the world’s largest maker of Apple iPhones.

Foxconn, which makes smartphones and other electronics, has been under severe COVID-19 lockdowns in recent weeks. To contain the latest outbreaks, factories tried to implement a closed-loop management plan where workers lived inside the factories and had no outside contact.

Foxconn announced on Friday that they are hiring 100,000 new workers in a massive hiring campaign as Apple faces significant supply chain constraints ahead of holiday demand. To attract more workers amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the company said it would quadruple daily bonuses for workers at the plant.

According to worker Li Sanshan, who spoke to The Associated Press, the protest at the Zhengzhou factory began on Tuesday after workers who left Foxconn after being promised higher wages complained that the company had changed pay terms.

When the workers arrived, Foxconn said they “had to work two more months at a lower salary to get the 25,000 yuan they were originally promised,” Li said. “Foxconn made very attractive recruitment offers and people came from all over the country, only to find they were fooled.”

Newly released video shows thousands of masked protesters in white hazmat suits and riot gear confronting police. Police officers can be seen hitting many protesters with batons.

In the footage shared on the live streaming site, the workers chanted “Defend our rights! Defend our rights!” Other workers were seen breaking surveillance cameras.

A Foxconn worker shouts in the background: “They changed the contract, so we didn’t get the subsidy they promised. They quarantine us, but they don’t give us food.”

One worker told BBC News that the workers were protesting because they wanted to “get a subsidy and go home”. The worker also claimed to have seen a man “seriously injured” after being beaten by the police.

Bloomberg news he tweeted Graphic video of Wednesday’s violent protests.

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