The Foxconn facility in India, which produces iPhones, has been under the scanner after reports of poor working conditions surfaced on the internet. The workers of the Foxconn plant in Chennai's Sriperumbudur protested against the poor working conditions including crowded dormitories, toilets without water and stale food infested with worms. Now, Apple is sending a team of auditors to investigate the iPhone facility in Sriperumbudar.
Apple has said that it has put the plant on "probation" and has sent independent auditors to investigate the poor working conditions. "Following recent concerns about food safety and accommodation conditions at Foxconn Sriperumbudur, we dispatched independent auditors. We found that some 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," an Apple spokesperson told BBC in a statement.
Over 2000 women workers against the poor working conditions within the company on December 17 which led to the shutdown of the Foxconn plant. Workers were found to be working in labouring in difficult conditions. Talking to Reuters, several women protesters revealed that the workers had to sleep on the floor in crowded rooms that housed between six and 30 women. The worst bit was that the toilets that were attached to these rooms had no running water.
The kitchen was in shambles. The food items that were given to the workers were infested with rats, food safety inspectors who visited the facility following the protests revealed. Due to the contaminated food, over 150 women workers were hospitalised. The hospitalisation of workers because of inedible food led to the protests.
The Reuters were informed by the Thiruvallur district administration about the mass food poisoning incident among Foxconn workers on December 15. As per the administration, a total of 159 women from a single dorm were hospitalised on the day due to food poisoning. While 100 more sought medical attention but were not hospitalised. The rumours of some workers dying after consuming contaminated food were also doing the rounds.
However, this was not an uncommon site in Foxconn. It was reported that workers fell ill repeatedly due to the unhygienic atmosphere they were inhabiting.
Foxconn had issued an apology for keeping workers in loathable conditions and has agreed to improve the facilities. The company had said that it would expand living spaces, improve bathrooms, and provide clean drinking water to the workers.
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