China is looking for retired military personnel to boost production at Zhengzhou’s biggest iPhone factory.
The call was made by the Veteran Affairs Bureau of the People’s Liberation Army located in the same province where the plant is.
A Covid epidemic has affected the Foxconn factory’s output.
The bureau posted an open letter on WeChat stating that veterans are always under the commandment of the Communist Party and should “showup where there’s a need”.
They were urged to answer the government’s call and take part in the resumption.
Foxconn has many factories in China, including its headquarters in Taiwan.
The Zhengzhou plant employs over 200,000 people and produces 70% worldwide of iPhones – approximately 500,000 per day.
A few Foxconn factories were temporarily closed due to the Covid wave in China earlier this year.
The Zhengzhou factory was placed under a “Covid bubble”, in order to keep production going, since 2022.
All staff members who are positive for the virus are sent to quarantine centers within the factory. However, this does not prevent them from becoming infected.
In October, a few cases were discovered in the factory. At the same time, the city of Zhengzhou declared a lockdown in certain districts. It was not known how many cases Foxconn had.
Panic erupted in the factory after the outbreak. Social media videos showed workers jumping over fences to escape the factory.
Because there wasn’t any public transportation available, many Foxconn employees walked miles to work.
Since then, Foxconn has been stopped from production. The factory had just over two-thirds (or more) of its production lines under operation, according to the TrendForce research group.
China’s state-affiliated media Global Times stated that there was a need to hire 10,000 more workers in the factory.
Online news site NetEast reported Foxconn had asked each local government to send at most one person to the factory. However, the BBC is unable to verify this claim.
Foxconn is Zhengzhou’s largest employer and top exporter. It had exported over 261 billion yuan (PS30.9bn worth) of products by September 2022.