Apple & Foxconn amping up efforts for more labor reform in India

in General Discussion
After success in one region, Apple is seeking more labor reforms across India to move more manufacturing out of China.

Tamil Nadu may be next for reforms
Tamil Nadu may be next for reforms

The company started in the southern Indian state of Karnataka by lobbying for changes to labor law. The new legislation allows for two-shift production in India, similar to labor practices in China.

The law would allow a factory to maximize output by running production over two 12-hour shifts. Previously, Karnataka limited workers' shifts to nine hours.

Now, India's southern state of Tamil Nadu, home of the country's largest iPhone plant from Foxconn, may also pass new rules to make factory shifts more flexible, according to Bloomberg. Executives from Apple and the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) lobby group reportedly met with state government officials over six months to push for the reforms.

Allowing more overtime and allowing factories to operate two 12-hour shifts instead of the previous three eight-hour shifts are among the suggested changes. And with more flexible shifts for women, they could avoid commuting on buses at night, which is often unsafe for them.

To help, Apple and its suppliers are discussing the construction of hostels for working women in and around factory complexes to reduce travel time.

"In electronics manufacturing, thanks to the hygienic environment and the roles in the units, women are a natural fit," ICEA said in a recommendation document submitted to the Tamil Nadu government. "Women have superior manual dexterity, which is necessary for high-precision electronics assembly."

Currently, Apple supplier Foxconn is planning to build a new $700 million iPhone facility in Karnataka and expects to create about 100,000 jobs with the endeavor. However, sources said the plans needed to be finalized and could change.

Other Indian states such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, the location of a Samsung smartphone factory, may follow Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with labor reforms.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 3
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,855member
    I’ll say it again, moving from three eights to two twelves stretches the definition of ‘reform’ to the breaking point. And using the excuse that they are doing it because it’s unsafe for women to ride the busses at night is just obscene. Improve security to MAKE it safe for women. But twelve hour shifts are hard on workers, hard on families, hard on society. 

    Stop calling these things ‘reform. 
    edited March 2023 muthuk_vanalingambyronlOferwaveparticlebonobobjbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 3
    looplessloopless Posts: 338member
    It might offend our sensitive western sensibilities who have romantic visions of village life in rural India, but a regular paid job in a clean and safe factory environment is a major upgrade from dirty, unsafe work in the fields or a slum. China pulled an estimated 800 million people out of a life of grinding poverty and food insecurity - one of the great "wins" of the late 20th century. Maybe India with its messy democracy  can replicate some of that success and maintain basic human rights in this window of opportunity where companies like Apple do not like all their eggs in one basket.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,311member
    I normally work 4, 10 hour days instead of your normal 5, 8 hour days.  I like it as I then have a 3-day weekend.   But there are times when I've ended up working 12 hours in a day, or have to come in when they're closed, to get work done and so I'm into overtime, like this weekend.  I need to swap out a couple of Rotary Air Compressors.  But working 12 hours daily wears on you pretty quickly.  Even just sitting there in a clean environment.  If anything I'd be border to death, sitting on my butt for 12 hours doing the same task over and over again on the production line.  

    I think the excuses they are using is weak.   I'm all for getting people in India into better jobs.  But I don't want to see the same things done in India that has been done in China.  Yet that is exactly what it looks like they're trying to do.  Long shifts and living in Dormintory's getting little pay.  Before you know it, there are nets around the buildings.
    edited March 2023
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