Finding exploitation of labour, Apple puts its India iPhone manufacturer Wistron on probation

Apple put its India iPhone manufacturer Wistron Corp on probation, will monitor their progress along with independent auditors

Apple put its India iPhone manufacturer Wistron Corp on probation, will monitor their progress along with independent auditors
Apple put its India iPhone manufacturer Wistron Corp on probation, will monitor their progress along with independent auditors

Wistron removes Vice President for bad labour relations & apologises to workers

Taking cognizance of violations in labour relations, Apple on Saturday put its India iPhone manufacturer Wistron on probation and said that it will not give new business till the Taiwan company Wistron Corporation takes corrective steps in maintaining good labour relations. Meanwhile, Wistron also removed its Vice-President Vincent Lee, who was heading operations in India after finding fault in the process of wages payment during its internal investigation. The Taiwanese electronics services major admitted its mistakes and apologized to the workers in the Karnataka unit. Last week, workers rampaged Wistron’s Narasapura facility (in Kolar district) in Karnataka last week due to huge salary cuts from Rs.20,000 to Rs.16,000 and later again cut to Rs.12,000[1].

Apple on Saturday said that it has placed Wistron on probation and it will not receive any new business from the US-based company till corrective actions are completed. “Apple employees and independent auditors hired by Apple have been working around the clock to investigate the issues which occurred at Wistron’s Narasapura facility,” Apple said in a statement.

Over 160 people have been arrested by the police in connection with the violence during which stones were hurled, windows and doors broken and vehicles in the parking lot overturned and set on fire.

“As always, our focus is on making sure everyone in our supply chain is protected and treated with dignity and respect. We are very disappointed and taking immediate steps to address these issues,” Apple said. Apple said it has “placed Wistron on probation and they will not receive any new business from Apple before they take complete corrective actions.”

Apple employees, along with independent auditors, will monitor their progress, it said adding that its main objective is to make sure all the workers are treated with dignity and respect, and fully compensated promptly. “Wistron has taken disciplinary action and is restructuring their recruitment and payroll teams in Narasapura. They have also set up an employee assistance program and a 24-hour grievance hotline in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, and English to ensure all workers at the facility can voice any concerns, anonymously,” the statement noted.

Over 160 people have been arrested by the police in connection with the violence during which stones were hurled, windows and doors broken and vehicles in the parking lot overturned and set on fire. Video footage of the attack was widely circulated on social media. Left-wing student union SFI’s leader was also arrested for instigating workers for violence in the factory. Though Wistron earlier claimed Rs.450 crore loss, later it toned it down to Rs.43 crores loss due to violence.

Meanwhile, Apple’s contract manufacturer Wistron removed its Vice-President Vincent Lee, who was heading operations in India after finding fault in the process of wage payment during its internal investigation. The Taiwanese electronics services major admitted the mistakes from its end and apologized to the workers. “We are removing the Vice-President who oversees our business in India. We are also enhancing our processes and restructuring our teams to ensure that these issues will not happen again,” Wistron said in a statement.

“The safety and well-being of our team members is always our top priority and a core value for everyone at Wistron. 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. This is a new facility, and we recognize that we made mistakes as we expanded,” the statement said.

References:

[1] Apple iPhone manufacturing plant in Bengaluru vandalized by employees protesting on salary cuts 80 people arrestedDec 12, 2020, PGurus.com

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