Apple component and assembly partners are reducing their staff and cutting overtime hours, says a report from Financial Times. Most Apple Stores around the world have been closed since March 14 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, greatly reducing demand for Apple devices.
Workers at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou complex, where the iPhone is assembled, say Foxconn has put a pause to hiring and has begun laying off some of the temporary workers that it had hired while ramping up production following factory shutdowns in February.
The report says overtime hours have also been cut (workers claim no overtime hours have been worked since April 10), and that the company has been encouraging employees to take holidays.
Apple assembly partner Pegatron has also been making cuts. An unnamed source at the company reportedly told FT that “the US orders are not coming, so why would we keep all the workers?” The source says approximately a thousand temporary and contract workers have been fired.
Generally, iPhone components for the fall models are normally being manufactured during this time of year. The reports of layoffs indicate that this step is not happening in the normal volume levels, or the components are not yet being manufactured at all.
Apple has begun slowly re-opening its retail stores and has re-opened a location in South Korea. Apple hasn’t announced a firm date for re-opening stores in the United States, but Apple is targeting May. Apple is expected to re-open stores according to local conditions and guidelines for each location.