Apple manufacturer Foxconn is trying to woo people back to the iPhone production lines by offering new perks at its major assembly plants in Shenzhen and Chengzhou.
The company has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, which resulted in some factories being temporarily closed and only a fraction of employees returning to work when they were reopened. With iPhone orders to fill, Foxconn’s doing its best to make up for lost time.
Digitimes notes that Foxconn’s incentives are designed to “encourage the return and recruitment” of more employees. These include free shuttle bus travel, free meals, and accommodation for workers. (Since many workers already live on-site it’s not exactly clear what this last one means. It presumably means free accommodation.)
Foxconn has also raised bonuses to CNY5,000-7,000 (approximately $700 to $1,000) from their previous CNY3,000 (about $425). Foxconn hopes that doing this will ease labor shortages as quickly as possible. When its most critical iPhone-assembling site recently reopened, it did so with fewer than 10% of its usual workforce.
Other Taiwan-based manufacturers with factories in China are reportedly looking at introducing similar measures.
Foxconn’s perks — and other changes
This isn’t the only change Foxconn has made as it responds to the coronavirus outbreak. It has also set up a production line making surgical masks, installed infrared scanners, and developed a smartphone app which sends alerts to employees if they are too close to infection hotspots.
The outbreak of coronavirus has already hit Foxconn on a business level. The world’s largest manufacturer says it expects its full-year 2020 revenue to be affected by the outbreak.
The coronavirus spread has also affected Apple. Apple recently pulled its forecast for fiscal second quarter earnings as a result for the second time in 15 years.
At present, the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 — has infected more than 76,000 people worldwide. At least 2,244 people have died as a result of the virus. The overwhelming majority of these have taken place in China. However, there have been smaller outbreaks in other countries.