Apple investigates Indian iPhone factory after workers strike
Apple investigates Indian iPhone factory after workers strike

After poor working and living conditions at the factory caused workers to go on strike, Apple sent an independent inspector to investigate an iPhone assembly plant in India.

The plant in southern India is operated by Foxconn, a long-term partner of Apple.

Reuters research has found that women who work in factories live in extremely difficult conditions, forced to sleep on overcrowded dormitory floors and share toilets without running water.

A recent outbreak of food poisoning led to 150 hospitalizations and prompted workers to go on strike and shut down the factory on December 18.

The turmoil came when the US company ramped up production of the iPhone 13. Shareholders are also urging the company to become more transparent about suppliers' working conditions.

In response, the American company announced that it had placed the plant under surveillance. The company has yet to say what that means for Foxconn or the workers who assemble the iPhone.

The factory employs about 17,000 people and is located about 40 kilometers west of Chennai. An Apple spokesperson said: “Due to recent food and accommodation safety concerns at the Foxconn facility in Sriperumbudur, India, we have sent in independent auditors. We have found that some staff accommodations and restaurants do not meet our requirements. All corrective actions are promptly implemented.

The spokesman did not say what improvements would be made to factory workers or what standards would be applied.

The factory is at the center of Apple's efforts to move production out of China

According to reports from the Tamil Nadu government, Foxconn has apologized for the harsh conditions and agreed to upgrade its facilities.

He also agreed to expand living space, improve bathrooms, and provide drinking water. The company announced that it will soon resume operations at the factory.

This news highlights Apple's difficulty in moving production of its devices to regions outside of China. In recent years, the iPhone maker has reportedly urged Taiwanese suppliers such as Foxconn to move production to other countries such as India and Vietnam.

The US company has previously been criticized nationally for outsourcing manufacturing and pressuring it in China to comply with Communist Party demands for censorship and access to data. Moving manufacturing outside of China could reduce the influence of third parties on Apple.

The company has been criticized several times for working conditions in the manufacture of highly profitable gadgets. The Foxconn plant was particularly censored due to harsh working conditions and worker suicides.

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