Apple has kept Foxconn’s Sriperumbudur facility that manufactures iPhones on ‘probation’, and it will ensure strict standards are met before the facility reopens. “We will continue to monitor conditions closely,” its spokesperson said.

"We hold our suppliers accountable to the highest standards in the industry and regularly conduct assessments to ensure compliance. Following recent concerns about food safety and accommodation conditions at Foxconn Sriperumbudur, we dispatched independent auditors to undertake additional detailed assessments. We found that some of the remote dormitory accommodations and dining rooms being used for employees do not meet our requirements and we are working with the supplier to ensure a comprehensive set of corrective actions are rapidly implemented," Apple's spokesperson said on the plant's closure due to labour issues.

The work at Foxconn plant was suspended for over ten days, with workers demanding quality food. This is following food poisoning for over 100 workers and their colleagues protesting outside the plant to improve food quality and hygiene conditions at the hostels.

The workers demand basic amenities and improved infrastructure such as adequate accommodation, bathroom, toilet, drinking water and airy rooms.

Reopening postponed

The plant was to reopen on Monday with about 10 per cent staff strength after the company offered paid leave for the 15,000 plus employees. However, the reopening date has been pushed further due to the incompletion of specific works.

Last Thursday, government officials and Foxconn management held discussion. They urged the company to improve the working conditions of employees working on a contract basis and raise the quality of hostels.

Sources said that the plant's reopening will not happen unless all the issues are sorted out.

Meanwhile, a statement from Foxconn Technology Group said, “The safety and wellbeing of our employees is our top priority. We have been investigating recent issues at our Sriperumbudur facility in Tamil Nadu and have found that some offsite dormitory facilities do not meet the required standards.

"We are very sorry for the issues our employees experienced and are taking immediate steps to enhance the facilities and services we provide at the remote dormitory accommodations.

"We are also restructuring our local management team and our management systems to ensure we can achieve and maintain the high standards that are needed. All employees will continue to be paid while we make the necessary improvements before restarting our operations and we will continue to provide support for our employees as they return to work," the statement added.