Govt team finds no discrimination against married women in Foxconn

The Reuters report published on June 25 stoked a major row with the Union Government asking the Tamil Nadu government to send a report on the allegations.
Last Updated : 04 July 2024, 14:00 IST

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Chennai: A high-level team from the Union Labour Ministry, which visited the Foxconn manufacturing unit in Sriperumbudur near here earlier this week, was told by the local management of the Taiwanese electronics giant and its employees that married women are not being “discriminated  against” in the sprawling campus. 

The five-member team led by A Narasaiah, Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) visited the Foxconn premises, where high-end Apple iPhones are also assembled, on July 1 and spent several hours interacting with the management and married women employees. 

“We verified the company’s recruitment rules procedure and saw whether Labour Laws are being implemented. We also verified whether the company was prompt in paying employee benefits, including EPF. Later, we also interacted with HR executives and senior officials of the company,” a source in the know told DH.

The team also chose 30 women employees, who are married, and spoke to them in the absence of Foxconn representatives to get into the bottom of allegations published by Reuters that married women are overlooked for employment inside the plant that assembles iPhones, a source said. 

“The women we spoke to told us that there was no discrimination. They said the company treats them equally and even offers maternity benefits to them,” another source said, adding that Foxconn “cooperated” with them by parting with documents and information that the team wanted to examine as part of their inquiry. 

The team found as many as 41,000 women working in the sprawling campus of which over 33,000 are women. “The number of married women working in the premises is around 2,750. Most of these women have been working there for the past few years,” the second source said. 

The first source said both the management and employees maintained that there was no discrimination against married women who are already working in the factory. The team has sent all the documents collected from Foxconn along with its observations to the Chief Labour Commissioner in New Delhi. 

Officials from the Tamil Nadu government didn’t respond to calls and messages, but a source said Foxconn has communicated to the state that over 2,700 of the 33,000 women working in the factory are married. 

The Reuters report published on June 25 stoked a major row with the Union Government asking the Tamil Nadu government to send a report on the allegations.

This is the second time that Foxconn is in news for wrong reasons in two years after the iPhone plant was shut down for about a fortnight following a massive protest by women employees alleging “poor food” and “poor working conditions” in hostels provided by the company.

Published 04 July 2024, 14:00 IST

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