Apple has put Foxconn in south India on probation due to ongoing protests by workers regarding poor working conditions which resulted in 250 female employees getting food poisoning out of which 150 were hospitalized.
Foxconn has been manufacturing iPhones for Apple in Chennai, but recently the factory has been shut down due to weeklong protests by employees, which were extended by three more days. Apple seems to have finally had enough and put the company on probation, however, it has not revealed what would its impact be.
Apple takes action against Foxconn in India following protests
This is not the first time Apple has faced problems with factories in India. Earlier this year, Apple had put Wistron Corp under probation as it was found guilty of not paying employees or delaying salaries by months, which had led to riots in Kolar, India.
It is possible that putting Foxconn on probation would mean that Apple will not aware it any new business or put its contracts on hold until the issues are resolved.
Around 17,000 people are employed by Foxconn in Chennai, so the protests are on a massive scale. Foxconn has said that it is restructuring its management in India in an effort to improve facilities, and will continue to pay employees during the shutdown period, while it attempts to restart work.
An Apple spokesperson has given the following statement:
“Following recent concerns about food safety and accommodation conditions at Foxconn Sriperumbudur, we dispatched independent auditors. We found that some of the remote dormitory accommodations and dining rooms being used for employees do not meet our requirements and we are working with the supplier to ensure a comprehensive set of corrective actions are rapidly implemented.”
The Indian state government has also been involved and has been asking questions from Foxconn. This included a meeting with Foxconn and its contractors that manage food and living for its employees, with the government to review the conditions and improvements to services provided to workers. The government will provide clearances before work is resumed again.
Apple is not expected to face any major impact due to this downtime, as the factory mostly produces iPhone 12 models, while iPhone 13 mass production has yet to start.