Foxconn India plant halts iPhone production after Apple audit reveals inadequate standards

Foxconn India plant halts iPhone production after Apple audit reveals inadequate standards
Photo Credit: Reuters
29 Dec, 2021

The Foxconn Group assembly plant in Sriperumbudur, Chennai, which is responsible for assembling Apple’s iPhones in India, has been suspended from operating earlier today. According to a Bloomberg report, an independent audit undertaken by Apple revealed that working conditions at the Foxconn facility did not meet Apple’s requirements.

The facility has since been put under probation, with authorities stating that production will only resume once corrective actions are taken. “We found that some of the 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 said.

In response to this incident, a Foxconn representative reportedly said, “We are very sorry for the issue our employees experienced and are taking immediate steps to enhance the facilities and services we provide.” The statement comes after an official of the Tamil Nadu state government said last week that the Taiwanese contract manufacturer has agreed to make the changes that its employees demanded.

Workers at the Sriperumbudur plant complained about living conditions offered to them. The complaints involved inadequate drinking water, bathing facilities and living areas -- among others. Foxconn, on this note, has also reportedly agreed to make amends to its worker facilities while continuing to pay them as per usual wages.

The incident is not the first one in India that has involved a contractual manufacturer of Apple’s. In 2020, a Wistron Corp facility was vandalised by workers after their complaints regarding unfair wage payouts and related issues were allegedly ignored by the company. The contract manufacturer subsequently overhauled its hierarchy in the country, which was found to have inadequate working conditions as per Apple’s standards at the time.

Even for Foxconn, this is not the first ordeal that it has faced with worker conditions. The company faced severe backlash about a decade ago, when its underwhelming worker treatments were brought to the fore. Foxconn faced considerable backlash, especially considering its position as one of the world’s biggest gadget manufacturers for some of the leading global names.