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iPhone factory workers reportedly asked to work sick, skip COVID tests

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Sick workers in Foxconn’s Zhengzhou, China-based iPhone factory are reportedly being asked to show up for shifts and avoid taking COVID-19 tests.

The details come from Rest of World (via 9to5Mac), which spoke with seven workers that joined the factory this month and contracted COVID. Rest of World said that employees were given N95 masks to wear while on production lines, but the workers say it’s still easy to catch COVID while inside the on-site dorm rooms, where eight people sleep in close proximity.

One employee told Rest of World that his supervisor advised workers not to get tested so they could continue working instead of quarantining. Another said that their supervisor seemed sick and couldn’t even walk steadily.

The report comes after Foxconn suffered a significant COVID outbreak in October, which led to workers breaking out of the plant and protests. The Zhengzhou lockdown ended about three weeks ago, but Foxconn was labelled ‘high risk.’ 9to5Mac reports it was obliged to keep using closed-loop production, which involves keeping workers in factory campuses.

Foxconn is responsible for producing iPhones, notably Apple’s top-line iPhone 14 Pro series. 9to5 notes that Foxconn is likely under immense pressure to get production back on track following the earlier disruptions. Apple previously sent a team to investigate what was happening at Foxconn.

So far, Rest of World appears to be one of the few publications covering the story. Although not the most well-known publication, Viola Zhou, who wrote the piece, previously covered Chinese politics, society, and internet culture for Vice World News and at the South China Morning Post.

Source: Rest of World Via: 9to5Mac


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