$AAPL Supplier in China Faces Revolt in Factory

Keeping an eye open to see if this spreads to other factories such as Tesla, GM, Ford, Lenovo, Huawei, etc.

Bloomberg Headline: Apple Supplier Faces Worker Revolt in Locked Down China Factory

* Workers start to protest lockdown of Quanta’s Shanghai plant
* Quanta is complying with government decrees to contain Covid

Bloomberg News
May 27, 2022, 2:51 AM UTC


Violent clashes, mounting infections and vacant factory floors: the turmoil that’s engulfed tens of thousands of workers at an Apple Inc. supplier in Shanghai is a troubling symptom of China’s extreme efforts to keep factories humming during its worst Covid outbreak since 2020.

Trapped in a bubble for almost two months, locked down by government decree and walled off from the outside world, Quanta Computer Inc.’s mostly low-wage workers are demanding more freedom and beginning to revolt against their overseers, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

Hundreds of workers have clashed with guards. A large contingent, worried that their supplies would run out should the lockdown persist, flooded past guarded isolation barriers earlier this month in search of daily necessities, according to several employees. Over the past weekend, media reports went viral of a large group storming a dormitory housing Quanta’s Taiwanese managers after a dispute over the prolonged lockdown and pay – triggering an hours-long standoff confirmed by several workers within the compound.

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More about this Chinese clusterfrot:


In the early days of the mandatory lockdown in April, Quanta had to shut most of its factory and seal workers in their dormitories. Production resumed at reduced capacity once management put in place a closed loop. The company continued to pay workers their basic salary of around 3,000 yuan ($450) that month, said a worker. That’s a fraction of the average wage in China’s richest city. Many felt failure to comply was tantamount to breaking the law. “Not complying with Covid measures is a violation of the law. You’d get caught for that,” one of the workers said.

But viruses don’t obey human laws. Covid snuck inside the compound just ahead of the lockdown, and crowded living conditions ignited a local outbreak, according to accounts by several employees.

Managers moved swiftly, commissioning buses – sometimes dozens at a time – to ferry positive workers to makeshift hospitals. But as daily infections in the city soared, some were asked to stay with their uninfected roommates until more transport could be arranged, said two workers. Quanta recalled employees that worked at their own residences, putting them into closed loops and subjecting them to daily, repeated testing.

I hope Apple and others are moving quickly to reduce their dependence on China or any one supplying country.