Foxconn: No clarity on employees returning to Sriperumbudur plant or commencing production

T.E. Raja Simhan | Updated on: Jan 24, 2022
Painting work underway at Triveni Nagar at Oragadam near Chennai, one of the hostels where Foxconn employees were staying.

Painting work underway at Triveni Nagar at Oragadam near Chennai, one of the hostels where Foxconn employees were staying. | Photo Credit: BIJOY GHOSH

The company is ensuring facilities at dormitories after workers fell ill mid-Dec, leading to stalling of work

It's been a month since production at Foxconn plant at Sriperumbudur, which manufactures Apple iPhones, has been stopped due to labour issues. Of the 15,000 plus workers, only a few hundred have returned to work even as the work on renovating the dormitories continues.

On December 18, a few employees experienced food poisoning in one of the dormitories. This led to protest by their colleagues outside the plant on the Chennai-Bengaluru Highway. After the incident, the plant was shut, all employees were given paid leave and asked to leave their dormitories (nearly 15) located in Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts.

Last week, around 100 employees returned, but there is no clarity if more employees have returned and whether production in the plant has commenced.

Foxconn and Apple did not comment on queries sent by BusinessLine seeking information on how many employees have returned to the plant and if production has commenced.

Union sources in Kancheepuram said that 500-1,000 employees would have returned. A senior government official said they are slowly ramping up.

People in the know said that both Foxconn and it's client Apple have together chalked out a three-month roadmap –right from ensuring that all facilities are in place in the dormitories ; bringing back the employees and getting back the plant back to full production.

A source at the Triveni Nagar dormitory, where over 1,500 Foxconn employees are to be accommodated, said that the facility would be fully ready only by the end of this week.

The surge in Covid cases in districts is like to delay the return of employees to Sriperumbdur, another source said.

Met the CM

Meanwhile, on Monday, senior officials of Foxconn met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. However, details on what transcribed in the meeting was not known.

The Government released a picture on Twitter about the meeting in which Foxconn’s Operations Vice President Andrew Liou and Foxconn’s advisor TP Nair met the Chief Minister. In the meeting, Industry Minister Thangam Thennarsu, Industry Secretary S Krishnan and Sipcot’s Managing Director T Anand also participated.

A senior government official said Foxconn is fully committed to their investments in Tamil Nadu and will be expanding their presence in the State in newer areas as well. They thanked the State Government for support and indicated that a team will come in again later in the year to discuss further opportunities.

Published on January 24, 2022
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