Apple Puts iPhone Factory on Probation

Workers complained about living conditions and food poisoning.

Apple took issue with how one of its iPhone factories in southern India was being run and placed the Foxconn plant “on probation.”

BBC News reports Apple’s action came after the protesting of food poisoning and living conditions began.

A spokesperson for Apple said the company dispatched independent auditors to the factory following concerns surrounding food safety and accommodation conditions. They then discovered the issues that resulted in the protests -- and the factory closing -- on Dec. 18. 

The spokesperson added, “We found that some of the remote dormitory accommodations and dining rooms being used for employees do not meet requirements and we are working with the supplier to ensure a comprehensive set of corrective actions are rapidly implemented.”

The issues eventually led to 250 female employees who worked at the Foxconn plant suffering from food poisoning. Local media reported that over 150 required hospitalization. The factory employs 17,000 people. 

Foxconn issued an apology that said, “We are very sorry for the issue our employees experienced and are taking immediate steps to enhance the facilities and services we provide.”

Apple did not disclose what it necessarily means for a facility to be on probation, but in Apple’s case, it historically means the technology company will decline awarding new business to such facilities until the issues are resolved.

Just last year, Apple placed another Indian iPhone manufacturing partner on probation due to worker riots that stemmed from unpaid wages at a factory near Bangalore.

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