Apple supplier Foxconn told to resume operations at plant after workers protest over massive food poisoning

After a brief hiatus, iPhone supplier Foxconn on Wednesday reopened its manufacturing facility near here as the company decided to resume operations, government sources said. The factory, located on the outskirts of the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, was opened after being shut for more than three weeks following protests by workers over a mass-food poisoning incident at an offsite dormitory facility.

Private buses were seen carrying employees wearing face masks inside the Sriperumbudur complex, about 40 km from here. “Around 200 workers are joining today. We were told that the plant will operate in two shifts initially and will be scaled up later,” a government source told PTI.

Tamil Nadu Industries Minister Thangam Thenarasu said the government was happy as the facility has resumed after the issue is resolved.

“Based on the suggestions made by the government for the welfare of the employees, the management agreed to implement them, especially to enhance the facilities provided to the women employees”, he said.

He told reporters at the secretariat here that the management assured that it would implement all the suggestions after Chief Minister MK Stalin was directly involved in the matter.

“I am happy to learn that the facility is restarting today. The facility will continue to take all necessary steps to ramp up production without any hindrance (after that),” he said.

On January 10, Foxconn said it had implemented a number of corrective actions and would begin gradually bringing team members back to the factory.

The facility was put on ‘probation’ by Apple after protests by employees, and an assessment revealed substandard living conditions in dormitories and dining halls for employees.

The unit has over 15,000 people working on the production of Apple products.

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