Apple warns supplier Foxconn’s factory in India after protests

Men ride motorcycles past a closed factory in the Foxconn India unit, which makes iPhones for Apple Inc., near Chennai, India, December 21, 2021. REUTERS / Sudarshan Varadhan

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December 29 (Reuters) – Apple (AAPL.O) said it had placed its iPhone fitter Foxconn’s (2317.TW) factory in South India on probation after both companies found that some remote dormitories and dining rooms used for employees did not meet the required standards.

Apple did not describe what it meant to be on probation. When it placed the South India plant at another supplier, Wistron Corp (3231.TW), on probation after last year’s turmoil, it said it would not assign new operations to the Taiwanese company until it addressed the way workers were treated. .

The latest action comes after protests erupted earlier this month after more than 250 women working at the Foxconn plant in the town of Sriperumbudur, near the southern city of Chennai, living in one of the dormitories, had to be treated for food. poisoning.

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The plant, which employs around 17,000 people, was closed on 18 December. Apple and Foxconn did not say when they expected it to reopen.

A Foxconn spokesman said Wednesday that they are restructuring their local management team, taking immediate steps to improve facilities and adding that all employees will continue to be paid while making the necessary improvements to restart operations.

More than 150 employees at the factory were hospitalized for food poisoning, Reuters reported on December 18.

An Apple spokesman said on Wednesday that they had sent out independent auditors to assess the conditions at the dormitories “following recent concerns about food safety and accommodation conditions at Foxconn Sriperumbudur”.

Apple said it had found that some of the external dormitories and dining rooms used for employees did not meet the requirements, and that they worked with the vendor to ensure a comprehensive set of corrective actions, adding that they would ensure that the strict the standards are met before the plant reopens.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Foxconn as well as 11 of the contractors, including those providing food and lodging facilities, had been summoned to a meeting with the state government and that officials had asked Foxconn to review the services provided to workers, including power backups. the rooms, food and water.

The impact on Apple from the closure of the factory, which makes iPhone 12 models and has started trial production of the iPhone 13, is expected to be minimal, analysts have said. But the factory is strategic in the long run as Apple tries to reduce its dependence on China’s supply chain in the midst of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

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Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh, Sudarshan Varadhan in Chennai, Chandini Monappa in Bengaluru, Dawn Chmielewsk in Los Angeles and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Edited by Christian Schmollinger, Kenneth Maxwell and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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