Apple temporarily closes iPhone factory due to working conditions
The company that makes your iPhone is in trouble again. According to reports, Apple has put its long-standing computer parts supplier, Foxconn, on probation, after a factory run by the famous Taiwanese company accidentally made hundreds of its workers severely ill earlier this month.
Reuters reported. 159 people had to be hospitalized and some 250 others were treated on an outpatient basis as part of the incident. The factory, which is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, provides on-site accommodation and meals for workers, as is common for large scale industrial factories that require long hours and intensive shifts. These meals, however, are apparently not that good.
After learning that hundreds of their colleagues had been sickened by the food prepared in a company-sponsored canteen, workers at the factory staged a protest and subsequently blocked a major interstate highway as part of their demonstration. The protests were linked not only to the recent incident, but also to poor working conditions across the plant, according to a recent report from Bloomberg. Many demonstrators were arrested.
All the heckling ultimately forced the plant to shut down for several days while government officials inspected the facility – and the incident has now sparked calls to investigate more widely how workers at the plant are being treated. .
As previously reported, Apple also placed the factory on probation– meaning it will remain closed, allegedly until changes can be made to rectify ongoing issues. We have reached out to Apple and Foxconn with several requests for comment on this story, but have not heard back.
An Apple spokesperson apparently said TechCrunch that the company “will ensure that our strict standards are met before the facilities reopen.” The spokesperson added that “some remote dormitories and dining rooms used for employees do not meet our requirements and we are working with the supplier to ensure that a full set of corrective measures are quickly implemented.”
In case you haven’t followed, Foxconn is Apple’s biggest manufacturing subcontractor, but has also been widely seen as a fucking nightmare for workers ever since. so far back like the days of Steve Jobs. A wave of 14 suicides in 2010 sparked widespread concern and outrage over the company’s working conditions. Another worker committed suicide in 2012. To ward off further deaths, the infamous company installed “suicide nets” (or what he called “anti-jump” nets) around the fringes of his factories and employee dormitories as a solution to his workers who want to kill themselves.
The company has always promised to improve the standard of living of its workers and there has been some debate about the severity of Foxconn’s conditions compared to the rest of its regional competitors. However, as of 2018, the company was forced to investigate a factory in China that makes Amazon Echo Dots and Kindles, after a monitoring group claimed working conditions were tough at the factory.
It’s also probably not a very encouraging sign that recent protests have been over Foxconn’s food ever since, as dates back to the early years of Obama, workers complained that the company’s meals tasted like crap. Indeed, a 2012 survey of over 35,000 Foxconn workers, 71 percent thought Foxconn’s food was bad, while about half of those polled felt that the canteens that served the food could not be classified as hygienic. Now that they’ve just graduated bad to miserable, the company clearly has work to do.