Foxconn bids to keep Zhengzhou factory running while fending off pandemic
Foxconn on Monday clarified conditions at its Zhengzhou plant after videos surfaced online showing workers leaving the massive factory reportedly trying to avoid being quarantined amid the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the central Henan Province city.
Multiple videos show scores of workers walking on highways to their hometowns after COVID-19 measures were imposed at the plant in Zhengzhou to quell a COVID-19 outbreak, official posts online said.
A company official said that closed loop management was launched on October 13 and the situation is now under control with production continuing, local newspaper Henan Daily reported.
Following the outbreak, Foxconn asked staff who lived outside Foxconn (Zhengzhou) Science and Technology Industrial Park to move inside the park, completing the process on October 16. Employees and volunteers were organized to carry out full-scale disinfection of the park's factories, offices, dormitories, shuttle buses, and public venues.
He hit back at online claims that conditions had become unlivable for workers in the factory.
Supplies such as sterilizing wipes, N95 masks, medicines, and bedding were given to the employees, the official said.
Starting from October 10, daily polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests have been conducted on each employee inside the park. The staff have also been asked to have a daily antigen self-test from October 21.
From October 17, the canteens were told to divide employees into groups and stagger their time to visit the canteens, with free meals being provided from October 19. With the pandemic situation easing somewhat, Foxconn gradually resumed dining-in services in one canteen from October 29 to November 1. It plans to resume such services in four more canteens on November 11.
As for staff who wish to return home, Foxconn has arranged personnel and vehicles, with support from the local government, to transport them back, he said.
As the closed-loop management is still in effect, the group is also working with the No. 1 Hospital in Zhengzhou to provide services such as online medication consultancy, psychological consulting, and medication delivery through apps and hotline.
A daily bonus of 50 yuan (US$ 6.85) will be given to the employees who still choose to work in the park. The government has also asked medics from across the province to be stationed inside the park's dormitories, quarantined areas, and factories.
On the premise of keeping its staff safe, Foxconn said it is trying its best to resume production and keep the pandemic at bay. Due to surging orders, the group may also seek help from some of its other plants in China.