India is undoubtedly one of the biggest markets for tech giants across the world, and it is here that Apple’s supplier Foxconn has found itself in a pickle. Soon after protests flowed in following the food poisoning incident in its Tamil Nadu’s factory’s offsite dormitory facility, the company said that it would be restructuring the local management team.
If you are unaware of the food poisoning incident, here is a recap. Earlier this month, over 150 employees at the Foxconn unit in Tamil Nadu were hospitalized due to food poisoning after they had eaten at a facility allegedly run by Foxconn. This led to widespread protests by workers and their relatives, who blocked a key Chennai-Bengaluru highway for several hours. Ultimately, the company responded by shutting down its plant in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur, which is near the capital city of Chennai. The unit has been closed since then, and according to an Apple spokesperson, placed on probation.
Now, Foxconn will be restructuring its local management team and its management systems in order to ensure that they can achieve and maintain the “high standards that are needed.” It has also been advised by the Tamil Nadu government to enhance basic infrastructure facilities (such as adequate accommodation and restrooms) provided to the employees.
The government added that the hostels which had been provided to the employees must have a quality certificate issued by the Collector, the food should be prepared at the place of accommodation of the employees and it should be served to them on time. Additionally, the employees should be granted leave should they wish.
As for Foxconn (which has agreed to abide by the guidelines), it said that its employees will continue to get paid while the improvements were being made before operations commenced. The company has been investigating the issues at its Sriperumbudur facility and found that some offsite dormitory facilities did not meet the required standards. It will also continue to provide support for staff as they return to work. Apple said that it will continue to monitor the conditions closely, and has already dispatched independent auditors to assess conditions at the dormitories.