On December 17, a Foxconn factory, maker of iPhones on behalf of Apple, closed in India after several days of protests. The employees have since revealed the disastrous working conditions exercised by the company.
In 2019, Foxconn, one of the manufacturers responsible for producing the iPhone 13s, opened a factory in Chennai, India. The latter promises the creation of 25,000 positions, then ideal for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his “Make in India” program. In this town in the south of the country, it is the women who are assigned to the task. Two years later, several employees went on strike, resulting in the final closure of the plant last December 17th.
Since then, six of them have agreed to testify on the working conditions to which they had to comply. Starting with housing, if you can call it that. The workers were indeed forced to sleep on the same floor in dormitories accommodating up to 30 women. Some of these rooms did not have a toilet with running water. As a reminder, Indian law requires that employees have accommodation of at least 36 square meters each.
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Employees recount dire working conditions at Foxconn
“People living in these hostels always suffer from one disease or another: skin allergies, chest pain, food poisoning”, explains an employee, before adding: “We didn’t make a big deal out of it because we thought the problem would be fixed. But now it has touched a lot of people ”. It is only when several employees complain aboutfood poisoning let the protest break out.
250 of them were poisoned by the food they were served. After inspection, the authorities discovered rats and poor water drainage in the hostel’s kitchen. “We have found that some of the remote dormitories and dining rooms used for employees do not meet our requirements and we are working with the supplier to ensure that a full set of corrective actions are quickly implemented.”, reacted Apple.
For his part, Foxconn said he wanted to restructure local management and take drastic measures to improve the working conditions of employees, without giving more details. This scandal erupts as Apple hopes to end the iPhone 13 shortage by February 2022. For this work, the women employed by the factory are paid € 124 per month.