Foxconn’s factory in Chennai, India was recently shut down for a week due to a food poisoning incident that left 150 employees hospitalized which in turn, led to protests bringing production at the plant to a standstill. According to a new report, the weeklong closure has been extended by an additional three days.
Workers’ hostels at Foxconn’s India plant under inspection
A week-long closure of Foxconn’s plant will extend to at least 10 days. And, the reopening will not be at full strength. The factory, which employs some 17,000 people, is now expected to restart production with 1,000 workers on Thursday, Reuters reports.
The official for the state of Tamil Nadu further told the publication that the state government had conducted inspections of workers’ hostels. The state government has instructed Foxconn to investigate the quality of the workers’ living conditions at the plant. Sources have revealed that specific concerns include power backups, food and water, and lack of recreational facilities such as a TV, a library, and indoor games.
A separate source within the government told Reuters that Foxconn had “ramped up production too quickly.” The source went on to say that they would require a guarantee that living conditions for workers have been improved before the plant is authorized to resume production at full speed.
Last week, protests erupted at the plant after more than 250 workers, who were women and live in the hostels, had to be treated for food poisoning. About 70 women were detained from the protest on Saturday, and they were released by Sunday.
The impact on the Cupertino tech giant from the closure of the factory, which makes iPhone 12 models and has started trial production of iPhone 13, is expected to be insignificant. However, the factory is strategic in the long term as Apple moves away from China amid trade tensions between the United States and Beijing.
The protest at Foxconn is the second incident involving an Apple supplier factory in India in a year. In December 2020, thousands of contract workers at a plant owned by Wistron Corp wrecked equipment and vehicles over allegations of unpaid wages. The protesters caused an estimated $60 million worth of damages.