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As Apple puts Foxconn’s southern India iPhone plant on “probation,” workers have revealed more details of unsanitary conditions, and meals that had worms crawling through them.
Now according to Reuters, the protest was chiefly led by women working at the plant — and some of those women have revealed what made it necessary.
“People living in the hostels always had some illness or the other — skin allergies, chest pain, food poisoning,” one worker who quit the plant after the protest, told Reuters. “We didn’t make a big deal out of it because we thought it will be fixed. But now, it affected a lot of people.”
Until some unspecified time recently, these continuous illnesses reportedly included food poisoning that affected one or two workers. The protest began when the food, including worms, sickened more than 250 workers.
According to six women involved in the protests, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, workers were expected to sleep on the floor. Rooms housed between six and thirty women, and two sources said their hostel room had toilets without running water.
Local laws reportedly require each worker to be allocated at least 120 square feet of living space. There are also hygiene and fire safety standards that should have applied to the workers’ hostels.
Foxconn has told local officials that it “ramped up production too quickly.” However, it has now agreed to meet its legal requirements and follow government recommendations.
Apple has not commented on the further detail. However, in a statement following the protests, a spokesperson said that Apple was “working with the supplier to ensure a comprehensive set of corrective actions are rapidly implemented.”