After being shut for 25 days, Taiwanese electronics major Foxconn on Wednesday resumed operations at its Sriperumbudur factory that manufactures Apple iPhones with a limited number of employees.
“The production at Foxconn has resumed. A total of 365 people returned to their hostels by Tuesday evening, and they are allowed inside the factory after being tested for Covid-19. As many as 166 employees reported for work on Wednesday after testing negative for Covid-19,” Selva Perunthagai, MLA from Sriperumbudur and Congress’ floor leader in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, told DH.
Foxconn has changed its management team at the Sriperumbudur facility after hundreds of women blocked the busy Chennai-Bengaluru National Highway on the night of December 17 following the hospitalization of 159 of their colleagues due to food poisoning. The employees alleged poor quality of food and poor living conditions at hostels provided to them by Foxconn.
Also Read | Foxconn’s Tamil Nadu iPhone plant to reopen gradually from January 12
Selva Perunthagai said the government will ensure that the suggestions made by it to improve the living conditions are followed. “The production will resume in a gradual manner. Employees’ interest will be taken care,” he said.
After the protests, the factory was shut on December 18. Following an inspection by independent auditors at the off-shore dormitories, Apple Inc placed the Foxconn’s Sriperumbudur facility on probation.
Government officials said the dormitories will be cleared for accommodating employees only after certain quality checks. While the government has prescribed certain conditions, Apple Inc has also prescribed a slew of suggestions for improving the living conditions.
“Dormitories will be opened up for housing employees one by one,” the local source said.
The government urged Foxconn to ensure each employee had access to four litres of drinking water a day, adequate washrooms to avoid infections and inverter facilities. It also asked the company to ensure proper security arrangements and fencing of the premises that house women.
An inspection by a government team found that some of the hostels were lacking in basic amenities, including enough space for the employees to sleep at night.
Check out the latest DH videos here: