Indian plant closes as 250 workers fall ill
Electronics giant Foxconn has been forced to suspend operations at a factory in India after half its workforce was hospitalised after falling ill at work.
The iPhone manufacturer has confirmed that 250 workers at its factory in Chennai ‘experienced sensations of giddiness and nausea’ last Friday (23 July 2010) and they were subsequently taken to hospital, where all but 28 have now been released.
The factory, which makes mobile phone components, was closed for a week from Monday (26 July 2010) to give the local authorities the opportunity to investigate the incident. In a statement Foxconn has suggested the illnesses were caused by a routine spraying of pesticide at the facility.
This latest problem follows a number of staff suicides at Foxconn factories in China including ten deaths at one plant in Shenzhen. While the company, which is a major supplier for well-known electronics brands including Apple and Hewlett-Packard, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by Chinese authorities, its reputation has seemingly been damaged by the negative press.
In response Apple investigated the company and has since confirmed it found claims of bad employment practices where ‘largely unfounded’. Foxconn, while stating that the deaths were not directly work related has announced it would increase monthly wages for assembly line workers in Shenzhen by 70% on 1 October 2010.
Published: 18 August 2010