iPhone production in India again disrupted as Apple intervenes


iPhone production in India has again been disrupted as a result of worker complaints. Assembly was suspended at a Wistron plant last year following a riot over underpaid wages, and production has now been halted at a Foxconn plant after Apple upheld complaints about worker accommodation.

It is common in both India and China for seasonal iPhone workers to be recruited from considerable distances, and to live in company-supplied dormitories for the duration of their contract …

Apple has placed Foxconn on probation, and ordered that the supplier bring conditions up to the required standards before production resumes.

Bloomberg reports.

Apple put Foxconn’s factory in southern India on probation following worker protests and an investigation that revealed substandard living conditions.

Foxconn, which uses the facility to assemble iPhones among other gadgets, apologized for the lapses in health standards and pledged to revamp its management and operations in the country. The factory, located in Sriperumbudur on the outskirts of Chennai, was shut down after the protests and will resume operations once “necessary improvements” are made […]

“Following recent concerns about food safety and accommodation conditions at Foxconn Sriperumbudur, we dispatched independent auditors,” an Apple spokesperson 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.”

The Cupertino company said that all workers will continue to be paid during the suspension, and that Foxconn will be expanding living areas, improving bathing facilities, and providing drinking water(!).

The move comes almost exactly a year over the riot at a Wistron iPhone plant in India. Workers alleged that they had been paid less than they’d been promised when they were recruited. Both the Indian government and Apple launched investigations, and both concluded that the workers were correct.

Exploitative practices such as underpayment of wages, irregular hours and poor working conditions were common at the Wistron Corporation assembling and manufacturing unit in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, as detailed by its Department of Factories, Boilers, Industrial Safety and Health […]

There have also been allegations of middlemen exploiting the contract workers and skimming their wages, with police looking into the role of six contractors who acted as go-betweens for Wistron. They reportedly lured workers by promising them an additional allowance if they forewent breaks.

Apple took the same action in that case.

Apple said Saturday it had placed Wistron on probation and the contract maker would not get any new business until it took corrective action.

iPhone production in India has expanded as domestic sales grow, and Apple seeks to decrease its dependence on China as a manufacturing hub.

Photo: Mukund Nair/Unsplash

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news: