Apple recently 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. Following the probation, workers have revealed more details of unsanitary conditions including crowded dorms without flush toilets and food sometimes crawling with worms.
Foxconn workers reveal details about working conditions at India plant
Despite a protest forcing Foxconn to close its plant and Apple placing the company on probation and the state government conducting inspections of workers’ hostels, minimum details were released about the working conditions workers were protesting about.
According to Reuters, the protest was largely led by women working at the plant and some of those women have revealed why it was necessary.
“People living in the hostels always had some illness or the other — skin allergies, chest pain, food poisoning,” one worker who quit the plant after the protest, told the publication. “We didn’t make a big deal out of it because we thought it will be fixed. But now, it affected a lot of people.”
Until recently, these illnesses reportedly included food poisoning that impacted one or two workers. However, a larger protest broke out when the food, including worms, caused more than 250 workers to fall sick.
According to six women involved in the protests, workers were forced to sleep on the floor. Anywhere from six and thirty women were forced to room in one room and two workers said their hostel room had toilets without running water.
The state government recently instructed Foxconn to investigate the quality of the workers’ living conditions at the plant. Sources revealed that specific concerns included 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.
Apple has not commented on the matter at hand. However, in a statement released after the protests, a spokesperson for the Cupertino tech giant said the company is “working with the supplier to ensure a comprehensive set of corrective actions are rapidly implemented.”