Foxconn’s Tamil Nadu iPhone plant to reopen gradually from January 12 | #ios | #apple | #iossecurity

Taiwanese electronics major Foxconn’s Sriperumbudur plant that assembles Apple’s iPhone is likely to resume production this week with a limited number of workers. The number of workers will be increased gradually after “certain standards” are met in places of their accommodation.

California-based Apple said on Monday that Foxconn’s Sriperumbudur facility remains on probation and “we will continue to monitor conditions very closely.”

“For the past several weeks, teams from Apple, along with independent auditors, have been working with Foxconn to ensure a comprehensive set of corrective actions are implemented in the offsite accommodations and dining rooms at Sriperumbudur. Workers will start to return gradually as soon as we are certain our standards are being met in every dormitory and dining area,” a spokesperson for Apple Inc. said.

Foxconn factory will be managed by a new team when it reopens this week. The plant, which was shut on December 18 following protests by hundreds of workers demanding quality food in their hostel, is likely to resume production this week, though Apple did not give any specific date.

Foxconn said it has been working on a series of improvements to fix issues it found at the offsite dormitory facilities at Sriperumbudur and to enhance the services it provides to employees.

“We have implemented a range of corrective actions to ensure this cannot happen again and a rigorous monitoring system to ensure workers can raise any concerns they may have, including anonymously. We will gradually begin to welcome back team members as each offsite dormitory becomes ready and is approved,” Foxconn said in a statement on Monday.

The statement added that Foxconn will continue to support its employees and thank them for their patience “as we work through the improvements.”

Government sources said the factory will have a “slow resumption” of production as it has been decided to increase the number of people in hostels only after ensuring that the rooms meet certain requirements.  

Industry sources told DH that less than 100 employees have returned to hostels, and it may take “a couple of months” for the factory to resume full-fledged production. The factory employs about 15,000 people.

“The employees have started coming back on Monday. We have less than 100 persons as we speak. This will give an indication of how things will unfold in the coming days and weeks. The production will kick off this week,” a local source said.

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. 

Manufacturing and assembling operations at three plants inside the Foxconn campus in Sriperumbudur, 50 km from Chennai, came to a halt on December 18, hours after hundreds of employees blocked the Chennai-Bengaluru highway demanding better quality of food in hostels provided by the management.

Following the incident, independent teams deputed by Apple Inc and Foxconn found that some offsite dormitory facilities for employees did not meet the required standards.

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.

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