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Indian Government Labor Officials to Investigate Foxconn Hiring Practices

Indian Government Labor Officials to Investigate Foxconn Hiring Practices

The Indian government has launched an investigation into accusations that Apple’s iPhone assembler Foxconn refuses to hire married women. The investigation team has questioned Foxconn executives, A. Narasaiah, the regional labor commissioner, told Reuters on Wednesday.

In June, Foxconn was accused of rejecting marries women for jobs in its Indian iPhone assembly plant. Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed the local government of Tamil Nadu state to investigate.

Reuters reports that a five-member team from the government’s regional labor department visited the Chennai Foxconn plant on Monday.¬† The team interviewed executives of the firm, as well as 40 married women, none of whom said anything about discrimination.

“We are collecting information, and have asked the company to submit documents like company policies, recruitment policies,” regional labor commissioner A. Narasaiah told¬†Reuters. “They told us they are not discriminating.”

Foxconn currently has 51,281 workers at the plant, of whom 33,360 are women. Foxconn claims that approximately 2,750 of the women were married. The company did not provide numbers for specific departments.

While the accusation indicated that third-party recruiters had been told not to hire married women, the investigation team has no plans to interview the recruitment staff.

The allegations come at a time when women are being encouraged to work. The Foxconn jobs pay a monthly $200 paycheck and offer food and living accommodations, offering an avenue out of poverty for women.

While Foxconn nor Apple have official rules against hiring married women, sources within Foxconn say the company unofficially sees married women as a bad risk due to their family duties and a greater likelihood of becoming pregnant than single women.

While Apple has yet to officially comment on the government investigation, it did say:

“When concerns about hiring practices were first raised in 2022,” said Apple in a statement, “we immediately took action and worked with our supplier to conduct monthly audits to identify issues and ensure that our high standards are upheld.”

“All of our suppliers in India hire married women, including Foxconn,” continued Apple.