The announcement of the closure of the Foxconn factory near the southern Indian city of Chennai means that iPhone production in the country will be negatively affected. The factory produces iPhone 12 models and workers at the factory have suffered food poisoning that will leave assembly lines shut for the rest of the week. With 150 employees at the hospital, healthy workers began to protest the incident which also disrupted production.
A senior official in Tamil Nadu’s Industrial Safety and Health Directorate (which calls Chennai its capital) said: “The factory has been closed since Saturday and will remain so until next Sunday. Confirming the shutdown, two other senior state officials reaffirmed that the plant was not operating. Reuters reports that none of the three spoke to the media since they were not authorized to do so.
Foxconn made the decision to shut down the plant
Protesters have been arrested after blocking a major highway following the food poisoning incident. Yesterday, those arrested were released. While the factory, as we noted, is currently producing the iPhone 12, Apple tested the assembly of the iPhone 13 at the factory, and with the shutdown of the factory, those tests were stopped.
The factory that closed produces the iPhone 12 in India
The decision to close the plant was taken by Foxconn according to a police officer from the Kancheepuram Police Commissioner’s Office. The police officer also said that factory workers who have complained for months about food poisoning and other issues should file their complaints with the state Department of Labor.
According to Navkendar Singh, India director of research at market research firm IDC, “The impact on Apple should be small because it is a lean season… until at least February. In (first half of 2022), we expect sales to resume new product launches and the much-needed easing of supply chain issues. ”In addition to the iPhone, the plant also manufactures the Amazon Fire Stick and some devices for Xiaomi.
Apple hopes to build iPad in India
India is the world’s second largest smartphone market after China, and the three contract manufacturers who build the device for Apple, Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron, have budgeted $ 900 million over five years to make iPhone devices. in the country. But because India is a developing market, Apple has focused its Indian iPhone production on older, cheaper models.
Apple also plans to build iPad tablets in India, as the country, along with Mexico and Vietnam, have become alternative supply chain centers for Apple as the company seeks to reduce its reliance on factories in China. Apple fears that with tensions so high between the United States and China, access to mainland-based factories may not always be a sure thing.
Employees working on assembly lines generally pay part of their wages for board and lodging at facilities located near the plant. Last year’s riot began when Wistron promised an engineering graduate Rs 21,000 ($ 285) per month, but instead he was paid Rs 16,000 ($ 217) in the first month, which was reduced to Rs 12,000 ($ 163) in the past three months.
Considering that Foxconn workers, like those who work hard for Wistron, pay their employers for food, the fact that many of them contracted food poisoning was a problem enough to spark the protests that closed the highway near of the factory and the factory itself. .
Apple must have been involved in the riot last year due to damage to equipment at the Wistron plant. This year, it looks like Foxconn was able to keep its production facilities intact.