The Tamil Nadu police have released over 60 women after keeping them in detention for 24 hours in connection to their protests against their employer over food poisoning. Hundreds of women were protesting last week against their company and they blocked the Chennai-Bengaluru highway, which is one of the busiest stretches in the state, which had caused massive disruption for vehicle movements.
The police had detained 67 women on Saturday and they were released on the evening of Sunday -December 19, after being detained for 24 hours. The women were workers of Foxconn Technology Group, which manufactures the Apple iPhone, in Sriperumbudur in the outskirts of Chennai. The women had held protests against the food poisoning suffered by over 250 colleagues after eating food that was served at a company's hostel last week.
The women workers, who were between 18 to 25 years, were detailed inside a private hall and were released in two batches on Sunday evening. The women had boarded the buses arranged by their company Foxconn and they were initially taken to their respective hostels and were told to pack their belongings, while another vehicle had dropped them at different bus stands to go to their native places. Besides detaining the protesting women, a 29-year-old woman activist and freelance journalist was also arrested on Sunday and later she was released on a personal bond.
The women workers had held protests over the food poisoning for their 250 colleagues. The affected women were admitted to various hospitals in the vicinities and the agitation had escalated on December 18 with hundreds of women taking the road over the lack of information on eight women workers who were getting treated, while the rest of the women had got discharged. It was rumoured that these eight women had died after food poisoning.
As the sequel of their protests, the traffic has got disrupted to the stretch of five kilometres and besides Sriperumbudur, several women had also protested in Puliambakkam near Chengalpattu and in Tambaram. The workers allege, "We are coming from various parts of Tamil Nadu and working in this mobile manufacturing unit. We are being accommodated at several hostels. We aren't provided with quality food and a medical system. We have been treated as slaves and the company refuses to provide leave for us to go to our hometown."