updated 08:00 pm EDT, Thu April 26, 2012
Water, food, transportation major issues
Workers at the Foxconn factory in Jundiai, Brazil may go on strike beginning May 3rd if the company does not resolve "severe" issues involving poor-quality food, water shortages and overcrowding of transportation vehicles, according to a statement from the workers' union. Foxconn has been given 10 days to resolve the issues, which came up at a meeting between some 2,500 workers and company officials on Monday, reports local paper Jornal de Jundiai.
The plant services several of Foxconn's many electronics clients, but is primarily known for building some of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 models sold worldwide. A strike would not severely damage Apple but would impact inventory levels on the two products, both of which continue to sell well. Apple recently received permission to sell the locally-produced products in Brazil itself.
The employees, who are organized via the United Steelworkers union of Jundiai and the surrounding region said that water shortages were among the most severe problems in the plant, which is located near a major highway in the region. Without water, workers cannot even make food, and even then the food that is supplied is "very bad," with long lineups to get it. The food is allegedly sent to the factory by registered mail rather than prepared on-site, say workers.
Complaints were also directed at the transportation the company provides to bring in workers. The union says that as the number of employees has grown, the number of buses used to transport them to the factory has not, leading to overcrowding and forcing some workers to travel to the factory on foot.
"We seek to resolve the problem directly with [Foxconn], without recourse to public power, but if not we will make the complaint to the [relevant authorities]," union representative Evandro Santos said in a statement. The workers and union are scheduled to meet again tomorrow to assess progress and decide if a strike is warranted. [via Jornal de Jundiai]