As thousands of consumers around the world scrambled to get an iPhone and give it away at Christmas, on December 17, hundreds of workers at a Foxconn factory in India took to the streets of Chennai to protest the inhumane conditions in the cities. that they were required to work: crowded bedrooms without sanitary precautions, bathrooms without water and even wormy food.
The area is known for being a cluster of manufacturing factories, and Foxconn, one of the major iPhone makers, opened a center there as part of a government program promoted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create manufacturing jobs in India. The program is known as “Made in India”.
The Foxconn factory in Chennai created 25,000 jobs with monthly salaries of $ 140, above the minimum wage paid in the country. It would be great news if it weren’t for the fact that you would have to give up your dignity to work. On top of that, Foxconn chose to give preference to hiring women from rural areas. The reason? They are less likely to unionize and protest because many of them are heads of households. Because the women live in areas far from the factory, Foxconn has set up dormitories to facilitate their transportation on weekdays.
But everything has a limit, and that of the workers dedicated to assembling Apple’s glamorous iPhone 13s came when at least a hundred ended up in the hospital after eating rotten food. The story was reported by the Reuters news agency and local media such as Independent.
The December 17 protest, which was joined by female employees from other factories, was suppressed by the Indian police. The local media and Reuters reported attacks, arrests and human rights violations.
The situation did not take long to reach Apple, which, knowing that the case could spell a public relations crisis, asked to stop iPhone production at the Chennai factory until the situation is clarified.
Foxconn, a Taiwanese company specializing in electronics manufacturing and leading iPhone makers, has factories in virtually all of Asia. Several of them are located in China, however, Apple chose to move the manufacturing of the iPhone to India to avoid conflicts due to political-economic tensions between the governments of the United States and China.
An Apple spokesperson acknowledged that the conditions in the dormitories where the workers at the Foxconn factory in Chennai are staying are not optimal. “We work with our suppliers to ensure that a comprehensive set of corrective actions are in place,” the company said.