Bloomberg reports that Apple has put the Foxconn factory near Chennai in southern India on probation, in the wake of worker protests and exposure of below-standard living conditions.
The Sriperumbudur factory assembled iPhone 12 models before having operations suspended, has been shut down until conditions have improved. An Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg:
Following recent concerns about food safety and accommodation conditions at Foxconn Sriperumbudur, we dispatched independent auditors. 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.
The factory was shut down by Foxconn earlier this month, following protests after 150 employees were admitted to the hospital with food poisoning. Apple has now announced that the Sriperumbudur factory will remain on probation until its standards have been met.
Foxconn has apologized, saying in a statement that it was “very sorry for the issue our employees experienced” and is “taking immediate steps to enhance the facilities and services we provide.” The company says it plans to restructure its Indian management team and that it will continue to pay all employees during the downtime.
A statement from the local government added that the improvements will include expansion of living areas, upgraded bathing facilities, and available drinking water. Foxconn did not specify when it plans to reopen the plant.
Apple’s Indian operations have hit some bumps over the last year or so, as in December 2020, workers at a Wistron factory in India ran roughshod over the facility over unpaid wages. This led Apple to put the facility on probation. The facility resumed production in March 2021 after improvements were made.