SHANGHAI - Local authorities in China's Henan province are urging retired soldiers and government workers to take on stints at Foxconn's iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday.

The plant, the world's largest iPhone manufacturing facility, has been hit by discontent over government mandated measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, which required the company to isolate many workers but also prompted many others to flee in recent weeks.

The calls to retired workers have come from authorities in cities such as Jiyuan and Kaifeng, who are saying that those who take up the offer will be eligible to receive their current salary plus wages and bonuses from the factory, the publication said in a piece on its official WeChat account.

In Jiyuan, for example, public sector workers can receive a bonus of 800 yuan ($112.9) after signing up for the job, and a further 3,000 yuan ($423.5) bonus after completing 30 days of work, on top of factory wages and their current salary, it said, citing an unnamed junior government official.

Foxconn declined to comment on the hiring schemes, and also declined to give further updates on the Zhengzhou plant's manufacturing status.

Apple last week lowered its forecast for shipments of the premium iPhone 14 model due to the situation. Reuters last month reported that Foxconn's production of Apple's iPhones at the Zhengzhou factory could slump by as much as 30% in November.

Earlier this month, Foxconn quadrupled bonuses for workers who stayed and also began a recruitment drive that advertised higher than usual salaries.

On Tuesday, the Henan Daily reported that the factory received its first batch of new workers on Nov. 13.

($1 = 7.0836 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz in Shanghai, additional reporting by Sarah Wu in Taipei; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)