Workers protest at Indian iPhone plant due to widespread food poisoning and overcrowding
Reuters has investigated the working and living conditions of Indian workers at a Foxconn manufacturing facility that assembles iPhones and discovered that they were deplorable. Protests erupted after more than 250 workers became ill as a result of food poisoning, forcing the factory to close. The crisis occurred as Apple accelerated the production of the iPhone 13.
Interviews with workers revealed that they slept on the floor in crowded houses while other workers claimed that their bathroom facilities operated without running water. After the protests, food safety inspectors closed the kitchen area of a hostel since rats and a bad drainage system were discovered.
The protest prompted Apple’s shareholders to demand better oversight into working conditions. Investigations by Apple and Foxconn indicated that some dormitories and dining areas at the plant were not up to standard. Thus, the factory has been placed ‘on probation’ until the proper standards are met.
Furthermore, Foxconn stated that the company would be taking action to ensure that the appropriate facilities are in place so that production can resume. Workers would also continue to be paid as usual while upgrades are being made.
The state government of Tamil Nadu has also launched its own investigation into the food poisoning incident, requesting that Foxconn provide better labour conditions, housing and drinking water.