The Strategist

Apple supplier halts iPhone assembly in India due to mass poisoning of workers

12/28/2021 - 07:17

Apple's supplier has halted iPhone production at a factory in India due to a mass poisoning of employees that sparked protests. This is not the first conflict between iPhone assemblers and workers in India, which Apple is betting heavily on to reduce its reliance on China.

The factory of Taiwanese company Foxconn, which produces iPhones in India, has suspended operations due to a mass poisoning of employees, Reuters reports. Production, which employs about 17,000 people, is expected to resume on Thursday, but only with 1,000 workers, a Tamil Nadu state official told the agency.

He said the state government was conducting inspections of workers' hostels.

Earlier, more than 250 women workers at the plant had been poisoned. The incident sparked protests and drew attention to the living conditions of the workers, most of them women, living in hostels near the plant, Reuters noted.

Representatives of Foxconn and its contractors, who maintain worker hostels, were summoned to a meeting with the state government, an official said. Authorities have asked for improvements to the workers' conditions, including checks on the quality of food and water, as well as dormitory recreation, television sets, a library and other facilities for employees.

One source said Foxconn has admitted it has increased production too quickly and will gradually upgrade before it opens the plant to full capacity.