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Report: Foxconn asking sick workers not to test for COVID-19 amid slow iPhone 14 production

Updated Dec 28th, 2022 11:20AM EST
Apple Store customers iPhone 16
Image: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

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As Foxconn wants to ramp up iPhone 14 Pro production, a report indicates that the Taiwanese manufacturer is putting sick workers to assemble the iPhone, asking them not to test for COVID-19, and making people with symptoms sleep in the same place as those who are fine.

The concerning story shared by Rest of the World publications shows what Foxconn workers were already complaining about, but, this time, diving deeper.

When unrested employees rioted about the Zhengzhou factory conditions last month, reports about lack of food and symptomatic people sharing the same space as people that weren’t with COVID-19 surfaced on the web. Now, the case seems even worst, as the manufacturer wants to bring iPhone 14 production in full swing.

Employees on production lines are provided with N95 masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19. But workers say that it’s still easy to catch the disease inside dorm rooms, where eight people sleep together in close proximity. Seven workers confirmed to Rest of World that they, along with many of their roommates, contracted the virus after joining the factory this month. Three said they were asked to stay on the job despite showing symptoms. 

One Foxconn employee (…) told Rest of World last week that several colleagues had been working despite having a fever. Although they felt sick, the worker spent 11 hours inserting screws into iPhones on Saturday. “I had trouble breathing by 7 p.m.,” he said in a text after work. “Was barely able to finish the shift.” He worked 10 hours the next day. 

The story follows, “the employee said his supervisor also advised workers not to get tested so they could stay on the production line.”

While the Chinese government is moving away from the zero-COVID-19 policy, Foxconn wants to bring its production back to normality at whatever cost.

The publication requested a comment from Foxconn and Apple, but neither company shared a statement about the situation in the Zhengzhou factory. BGR will update the story if we hear from them.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.