Coronavirus: World’s biggest iPhone factory offers workers $1,000 bonus and free meals to return to work

The world’s largest iPhone factory has offered workers free transport, meals and accomodation in an attempt to ease labour shortages resulting from the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.

Foxconn Technology, which operates iPhone assembly plants in China, is also reportedly offering bonuses of up to $1,000 in its efforts to lure employees back to work, according to industry sources cited by Digitimes.

Public transport that workers rely upon has been severely affected in China, as the country struggles to contain the spread of the virus. There have so far been 78,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, representing more than 95 per cent of all worldwide infections.

Foxconn factories were temporarily closed after the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday due to government restrictions. A message to employees earlier this month stated: “To safeguard everyone’s health and safety and comply with government virus protection measures, we urge you not to return to Shenzhen.”

Production has since been approved to resume, however travel restrictions and staff shortages continue to affect output, a separate report from Reuters claimed.

Apple has warned that the cut in factory production caused by the deadly virus could result in an iPhone shortage later this year, stating that “worldwide iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained”.

In a note to investors earlier this month, the tech giant said it was also unlikely to meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which has also resulted in a drop in demand for iPhones in China.

“Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated,” the note stated.

“Our first priority – now and always – is the health and safety of employees, supply chain partners, customers and the communities in which we operate.”

It is not clear whether production of the iPhone 12 has been affected, though the flagship device is still in the very early stages of the manufacturing process and is not set to launch until September.


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