Workers at Foxconn’s iPhone assembly plant had been told to return from their New Years holiday on Monday. That plan is no longer operative.
From “IPhone Maker Foxconn Warns Staff to Keep Away From Shenzhen Base” posted by Bloomberg news service Friday morning:
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. told employees at its Shenzhen facility not to return to work when the extended Lunar New Year break ends Feb. 10, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News.
The moratorium represents an extreme effort by Apple Inc.’s most important partner to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus that’s paralyzed much of China’s manufacturing. Foxconn’s main iPhone-making base is farther north in Zhengzhou but coastal Shenzhen serves as its Chinese headquarters and the majority of the tens of thousands employed there are out-of-towners. The company also assembles a small portion of iPhones there.
“To safeguard everyone’s health and safety and comply with government virus prevention measures, we urge you not to return to Shenzhen,” Foxconn wrote in a text message sent to employees. “We’ll update you on the situation in the city. The company will protect everyone’s work-related rights and interests in the duration. As for the happy reunion date in Shenzhen, please wait for further notice.”
My take: Feb. 10 always seemed overly optimistic. Leaving the return date open ended is perhaps too pessimistic.