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Following protests over subpar food and accommodation conditions for its workers, Apple has placed Foxconn on probation. The factory is located in southern India. Currently, it is unclear how long the facility will be on probation, however, a spokesperson for the iPhone maker says they “will ensure our strict standards are met before the facility reopens.”
Protests erupted in the Tami Nadu Foxconn factory earlier last week after hundreds of women workers became ill. They lived in one of the facility’s hostels and all had to be treated for food poisoning. Over 100 of them had to be hospitalized.
Like Apple, the state government has also stepped in and intervened. They have requested Foxconn to review the services they provide to their workers.
The iPhone makers have dispatched independent auditors to assess the concerns about food safety and accommodation conditions for its workers.
A spokesperson for Apple said, “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 has launched its own investigation into the situation. They found that “some offsite dormitory facilities do not meet the required standards.” A spokesperson for the factory stated they were “very sorry for the issue our employees experienced.” They added that the company is “taking immediate steps to enhance the facilities and services we provide at the remote dormitory accommodations.”
The Taiwanese factory is a key assembly partner for Apple. The facility is working on restructuring the local management system and team. They want to ensure they “can achieve and maintain the high standards that are needed.”
All of the factory’s employees will be compensated “while we make the necessary improvements before restarting our operations and we will continue to provide support for our employees as they return to work,” added the spokesperson.
Unfortunately, Apple has experienced other issues since expanding its local manufacturing efforts in India. Apple has struggled with an issue of this kind in the world’s second-largest smartphone market. Last year, Apple had to place Wistron — one of its other key assembly partners — on probation after workers rioted over unpaid wages and poor working conditions.
The iPhone makers have also been struggling with losing employees to other tech rivals, like Meta, according to a report released by Yahoo! on December 28. Last week, Apple gave some engineers that were out-of-cycle bonuses coming as restricted stock units. The shares vesting over four years to give the engineers motive to stay with Apple.
Many of the eligible engineers received bonuses in the amounts of $80,000, $100,000 0r $120,000 in Apple shares. These bonuses were a big surprise to those who benefited from them. The tech giant presented the perks as a way for them to reward good performers. However, Yahoo!’s report states the payouts were not part of the usual compensation packages for the iPhone makers.
Written by Sheena Robertson
PYMNTS: Apple Pays Big Bucks to Keep Possible Defectors Away From Meta
Tech Crunch: Apple puts Foxconn India plant on probation after protests over food and accommodation conditions; by Manish Singh
Reuters: Apple puts supplier Foxconn’s India plant on notice after protests; by Sudarshan Varadhan and Sayantani Ghosh
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