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Apple places its supplier Wiston on probation until worker issues addressed

Apple has placed its Taiwan-based supplier Wistron on probation following rioting at its plant in southern India, reports Reuters. The tech giant said it won’t award the contract manufacturer new business until it addressed the way workers were treated at its southern India plant.

Apple said Wistron had failed to implement proper working hour management processes, which “led to payment delays for some workers in October and November.” Reuters notes, on Saturday, that Wistron admitted some workers at the plant in Karnataka’s Narasapura had not been paid properly or on time, and it was removing a top executive overseeing its India business. Apple said it will continue to monitor Wistron’s progress on corrective action.

Serious violations of labor laws were taking place at the iPhone manufacturing facility in India where a workers’ protest on Saturday turned violent and caused US$7 million worth of damage, a report by the Karnataka state government has found, according to the South China Morning Post.

The article adds that exploitative practices such as underpayment of wages, irregular hours and poor working conditions were common at the Wistron Corporation assembling and manufacturing unit in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, as detailed by its Department of Factories, Boilers, Industrial Safety and Health.

The iPhone manufacturing plant at Naraspura, India run by Wistron came under attack on December 12, from its employees over salary payments (or, rather, lack thereof), according to the Times of India.

The article says that a majority of the nearly 2,000 employees, who were exiting the facility after completing their night-shift, went on a rampage destroying the company’s furniture, assembly units and even attempted to set fire to vehicles. 

About 150 workers were arrested on charges including unlawful assembly and rioting after thousands demonstrated against salary delays and ill treatment at the Wistron factory, which is 60km from India’s tech capital of Bangalore. Police are looking to investigate a further 5,000 people, according to the South China Morning Post.

Sources told The Times of India that the employee unrest was triggered by salary remittances made to them. Sources said the employees were angry that the company was not paying the amount that was promised to them at the time of joining.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.