After complaints of terrible working conditions circulated on the internet, the Foxconn facility in India, which manufactures flagship iPhones, has been scrutinised. Workers at the Foxconn facility in Sriperumbudur, Chennai, staged a protest against bad working conditions, including packed dormitories, toilets without running water, and worm-infested stale food. Apple is now sending a team of auditors to Foxconn’s manufacturing at Sriperumbudar to look into the iPhone factory.
Apple has placed the factory on ‘probation’ and has dispatched outside auditors to look into the bad working conditions. In a statement given to BBC, an Apple spokesperson informed that the company has despatched independent auditors in response to recent concerns regarding food safety and accommodation conditions at Foxconn Sriperumbudur. Based on the information from auditors, the company has found that some remote dormitory accommodations and dining rooms used by employees do not meet the company’s required standards. Thus, it is working with Foxconn to implement the corrective actions as soon as possible.
Foxconn iPhone plant was closed due to Worker’s Protest
On December 17, about 2000 female workers protested the company’s bad working conditions, resulting in the Foxconn plant’s closure. Workers were discovered to be working in arduous conditions. Several female demonstrators told Reuters that the workers were forced to sleep on the floor in cramped quarters with between six and thirty women. Adding to the agony, the toilets in these dormitory rooms didn’t have running water.
The kitchen conditions were also labelled as a ‘disaster.’ Food safety inspectors who visited the factory after the protests discovered that the food items handed to the workers were contaminated with rats. Over 150 female workers were hospitalised as a result of the tainted food. Protests erupted after workers were hospitalised due to inedible food.
The Thiruvallur district administration told Reuters on December 15 of a widespread food poisoning outbreak among Foxconn employees. According to the management, 159 ladies from a single dorm were admitted to the hospital that day owing to food poisoning. A further 100 people sought medical help but were not admitted to the hospital. There were even rumours that some workers had died as a result of consuming tainted meals.
This was, however, not an unusual occurrence at Foxconn. Workers were claimed to have become ill on several occasions as a result of the unsanitary environment in which they worked.
Foxconn apologised for keeping workers in deplorable working conditions and committed to repairing the facilities. According to the corporation, workers should have more living space, better restrooms, and clean drinking water.