Main Apple assembly partner Foxconn has told employees at its Shenzhen plant to not return to work after their extended holiday furlough. The company has done so over concerns about the still spreading coronavirus.
Bloomberg reports that Foxconn employees are currently on a break to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and had been due to return to work on February 10. However, Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, the parent firm of Foxconn, has issued a text message specifically to workers in the Shenzhen plant.
“To safeguard everyone’s health and safety and comply with government virus prevention measures, we urge you not to return to Shenzhen,” says the text message. “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.”
While tens of thousands of workers staff the Shenzhen plant, the majority of the company’s iPhone assembly takes place at the firm’s Zhengzhou facility. At the moment we’re unsure if the workers there received a similar message.
The Bloomberg report also indicates that workers returning to the Zhengzhou plant from outside the province will be quarantined for 14 days.
“As a matter of policy and for reasons of commercial sensitivity, we do not comment on our specific production facilities,” Foxconn said in a statement to Bloomberg. “We have been closely monitoring the current public health challenge linked to the coronavirus and we are applying all recommended health and hygiene practices to all aspects of our operations in the affected markets.”
As of February 6, The World Health Organization reports 28,276 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with 564 deaths. Those numbers continue to grow daily. For more information about the virus, visit the WHO website.