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Foxconn, Apple say worker dorms for India iPhone plant do not meet required standards

CNA – Apple and its iPhone assembler Foxconn found that some remote dormitories and dining rooms used for employees at a Foxconn plant in southern India do not meet required standards, spokespeople for the two companies said yesterday.

Earlier this month, protests erupted after more than 250 women who work at the Foxconn plant that makes iPhones in Sriperumbudur town, near the southern city of Chennai, and live in one of the dormitories had to be treated for food poisoning.

Production at the contract manufacturing giant’s plant was halted on December 18, a news agency has reported.

Foxconn said yesterday it was restructuring its local management team to ensure it can achieve and maintain the standards needed, and was taking immediate steps to improve facilities. All employees would continue to be paid while it makes necessary improvements to restart operations.

An Apple spokesperson said it had dispatched independent auditors to assess conditions at the dormitories “following recent concerns about food safety and accommodation conditions at Foxconn Sriperumbudur”.

“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.”

Foxconn’s Sriperumbudur facility has been placed “on probation” and Apple will ensure its strict standards are met before the facility re-opens, the spokesperson for the United States (US) company said, adding that it holds suppliers accountable to the highest standards in the industry and regularly conducts assessments to ensure compliance.

A closed plant of Foxconn India unit near Chennai, India. PHOTO: CNA