Workers protest against unsafe working conditions

Hundreds of workers carried out a protest action at the gate of Foxconn at its Sunguvarchattiram unit near Sriperambudur, about 40 Km from Chennai.

This followed the hospitalisation of over 250 women and men workers. These workers had inhaled toxic gases inside the plant.

Hundreds of workers carried out a protest action at the gate of Foxconn at its Sunguvarchattiram unit near Sriperambudur, about 40 Km from Chennai.

This followed the hospitalisation of over 250 women and men workers. These workers had inhaled toxic gases inside the plant.

Foxconn is a multinational mobile accessories manufacturing unit. Employees working on different shifts on July 23 complained of breathlessness, nausea, vomiting and stomach ache. The Tamilnadu government ordered the plant to shut down till all safety aspects are checked and cleared by the authorities, but according to reports, the management refused to shut down saying everything was fine. This has further angered the workers. Earlier, the management had refused to organise the admission of workers to hospital, and workers were forced to organise it themselves.

Foxconn India, part of $1.74 billion the Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, is the third largest industrial foreign employer in Tamil Nadu with around 7,000 workers, after Hyundai Motor India and Nokia India.

The Sunguvarchatram plant, employing about 500 workers, was reopened only on July 23, 2010 after nearly nine months on the back of increased orders for mobile accessories.

As the hospital at Sriperumbudur did not have sufficient facilities, around 235 workers were taken to Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre with the help of police and workers at Foxconn India's main plant at Sriperumbudur.

According to reports, the plant uses isopropyl alcohol, a colourless flammable chemical with strong odour, as a cleaning agent in all the sections. The symptoms of isopropyl alcohol poisoning include flushing, headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

Foxconn India's main plant located at the special economic zone (SEZ) in Sriperumbudur is still operating.

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