Apple Punishes Wistron For Mistreating Indian Employees; Stops All New Business, VP Can Be Removed

Apple has placed its contract manufacturer Wistron on probation following the violence at the Kolar plant in Karnataka. Taiwanese manufacturer said it is to remove Vice President of India.

Recently, we did a story about the Wistron plant violence at its Kolar unit in Karnataka, here are the developments on the same.

Winston India plant manufacturers Apple iPhones. Apple has placed its contract manufacturer Wistron on probation following the violence at the Kolar plant in Karnataka. Taiwanese manufacturer said it is removing the vice president, Vincent Lee, who oversees its India activities following the violence. This decision comes a week after the violence.

The company statement regarding the issue:-

Team members’ “Safety and well wellbeing is always top priority” said the company statement which was issued on December 19. “Since the unfortunate events at our Narasapura facility we have been investigating and have found that some workers were not paid correctly, or on time. We deeply regret this and apologize to all of our workers” it added.

“This is a new facility and we recognize that we made mistakes as we expanded. Some of the processes we put in place to manage labour agencies and payments need to be strengthened and upgraded. We are taking immediate action to correct this, including disciplinary action,” it added.

Company, at its end, has announced the removal of the Vice President who is responsible to oversee India business. Also to ensure that the issue is not repeated the company is also planning to “enhance processes and restructure teams”.

“Our top priority is to ensure all workers are fully compensated immediately and we are working hard to achieve that.  We have established an employee assistance program for workers at the facility. We also set up a 24-hour grievance hotline in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English to ensure all workers can voice any concerns they may have anonymously,” the statement said.

The company reiterated that it is “deeply committed” to the India business and its employees.  “We are working diligently on corrective actions to ensure this does not happen again,” it added.

It has been reported that labour law violations were found at the plant by Karnataka state labour department and it has asked Wistron and its labour contracting firms to answer on lapses.

The violence, which occurred on 12th December, happened when the employees demand for proper wages became aggressive. 80 people were arrested in relation to the incident on the day of violence, as per IGP Central Seemanta Kumar.

Repercussions Of Violence:-

Post the violence, the production was disrupted at the facility which led to losses. The stated loss was 437 crores, which was later revised downwards by Wistron to 26-52 crores. A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered in connection with the incident, booking 7,000 people, including 5,000 contract workers.

Wistron had written to the Karnataka government and said it was “deeply distressed” by the recent incident at its plant near Bengaluru but remains ‘committed’ to India.

The Karnataka government had said it was trying to resolve the situation and help resume normal operations at Wistron’s plant near Bengaluru.

Apple said in a statement that Wistron will not receive any new business from Apple before they complete corrective actions, which will be monitored by employees and other independent auditors.

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