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Movies, Cards, And Cardio Are All VW’s Shanghai Factory Workers Can Do Amid Lockdown

Workers at Volkswagen’s Shanghai factory are watching movies and playing cards to keep themselves busy, as extended lockdowns in China have prevented them from returning to their homes.

Volkswagen was forced to idle its Shanghai factory due to China’s extremely strict zero-COVID policy amid surging coronavirus cases. A spokesman for VW China didn’t immediately respond for comment.

The workers had initially volunteered to stay inside the factory to keep it running in a “closed-loop system”, but the worsening spread of COVID-19 meant that the employees could not return home, and instead were required to stay in the factory.

According to Bloomberg, the factory worker’s entire schedule is set out for them and features a lot of sitting around with small exercise breaks in between.

The day starts with a mandatory COVID test and a brisk walk around the factory at 10 am. The workers then get a two-hour break from 11 am until 1 pm, before spending the rest of the afternoon watching movies and playing cards. At 4 pm the workers begin cardio training, before settling down for an evening of dinner, showers, and more movies. Voluntary garbage collection has also been set up by the company.

Volkswagen isn’t the only automaker experiencing problems with lockdowns in China. Tesla was also forced to shut down its Shanghai factory on March 28th, and VW’s venture with FAW Group in Jilin province was also forced to go offline.

According to the secretary-general of China’s Passenger Car Association, Cui Dongshu, the shutdowns in China are expected to carry a production penalty of about 20 percent for automakers, as not only vehicle manufacturers are affected but parts suppliers and dealers as well.


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