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Foxconn hiring bias: iPhone maker responds to hiring row, says 25% of new hires are married women

Foxconn hiring bias: iPhone maker responds to hiring row, says 25% of new hires are married women

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Two unidentified women wearing backpacks stand outside a security office at the main entrance to Foxconn’s factory in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, where workers assemble iPhones for Apple, January 28, 2023.

Two unidentified women wearing backpacks stand outside a security office at the main entrance to Foxconn’s factory in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, where workers assemble iPhones for Apple, January 28, 2023.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Apple iPhone maker Foxconn has informed the government that 25% of its new hires are married women and its safety protocol, which requires all employees to avoid wearing metal irrespective of gender or religion, is not discriminatory, sources said.

In an informal note shared with the government after reports suggested it is not hiring married women, Foxconn stated that such stipulations are not part of its policy and these claims may have been made by those individuals who were not hired, sources said.

They added that such media reports malign the fast-growing Indian manufacturing sector.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour and Employment on June 26 has sought a detailed report from the Tamil Nadu labour department on the issue of married women not being allowed to work at the Foxconn India Apple iPhone Plant, as reported by the media.

“Foxconn had clarified that 25% of the latest hires are married women. This would mean nearly one-third of the total women are married. This ratio compares favourably to any factory in this sector currently operating in India,” one of the sources said.

The Foxconn factory currently has about 70% women and 30% men and the Tamil Nadu plant is the largest factory for women employment in the country with the total employment having touched 45,000 workers during peak periods, they said.

The company has also informed that the discussion around Hindu married women being discriminated against for wearing metals (ornaments and jewelry) is “entirely slanted” and wearing metal in such factories is a safety issue, a fact well recognised by both the industry and the government.

“Any person wearing metals — man or woman — regardless of their status (single or married) and their religion (Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh etc.) are required to remove metals while working in the factory,” the source said quoting the company’s informal note.

For safety reasons, no one wearing metal is allowed to work on the shop floor and this is a prevalent practice in several industries.

According to sources, the company has stated that the media report is based on anecdotal comments by 5-10 people or potential job seekers.

These comments likely came from candidates who did not get the job or no longer work at Foxconn.

No immediate comments were received from Foxconn in response to an email query sent to the company on the matter.



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