Improve working conditions of workers: Foxconn to TN

Tamil Nadu advises Foxconn to improve working, living conditions of employees

The suggestions were given to the top management of Foxconn

Representative image. Credit: Reuters Photo

A week after hundreds of Foxconn employees blocked a National Highway to protest against poor quality of food being provided, the Tamil Nadu government has provided a slew of “advice and suggestions” to the Taiwanese electronic equipment major on improving their working conditions and providing all basic amenities at the hostels.

The suggestions were given to the top management of Foxconn by Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) S Krishnan, and Additional Director General of Police P Thamarai Kannan during a meeting held at the State Secretariat on December 23.  

Hundreds of Foxconn employees working at its massive manufacturing facility in Sriperumbudur, 50 km from here, had blocked the Chennai-Bengaluru highway last week after 159 of their colleagues were admitted to various hospitals after they consumed food provided at a hostel managed by the firm. 

The blockade on December 18 had brought traffic on one side of the National Highway to a complete halt for over six hours and came to an end only after intervention from the government. 

During the talks, the company told the state government it was working to resume production at the facility, which was suspended after the protest, as early as possible. Foxconn is one of the major Taiwanese companies that have Tamil Nadu its home and had in 2020 pledged to invest over Rs 7,000 crore in expanding facilities, including to assemble high-end Apple iPhones. 

In a detailed press release issued on Saturday, the Tamil Nadu government said Foxconn has been advised to improve the working conditions of employees who have been hired on a contract basis. 

“Steps should be taken to improve the quality of the rooms, wash rooms, water, and other basic amenities at the hostel. Steps should be taken to ensure that rooms where employees stay are well ventilated,” the statement said. 

The top government officials told the company to obtain necessary permission from the district collector for the employees hostel and to take steps to cook the food served to employees within the place of their accommodation. 

Foxconn, according to the statement, assured that it will urge the contractors to provide quality food to 15,000 employees working with the company. 

The Taiwanese electronic equipment manufacturer told the government that it was expanding the facility which will result in additional employment for people from the state. 

“The meeting advised (Foxconn) to grant emergency leave as and when required to contract employees and asked the company to hire a manpower agency to find suitable replacements for contract employees who go on leave,” the statement said. 

The government also said the State Industries Promotion Corporation (SIPCOT) was building an integrated hostel complex at a cost of Rs 570 crore in Vallam Vadakal village in the Kanchipuram district. The complex which will come up at an area of 20 acres will have 8 blocks with 11 floors each that can accommodate 18,750 persons. 

“The complex will be constructed within 18 months using new construction technology,” the statement added. 

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