Saturday, February 27

Violence-hit Apple supplier Wistron sacks vice-president who oversees India operations

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Taiwanese company Wistron Corporation removed its vice-president who oversees the iPhone manufacturing business in India, days after one of its plants was vandalised in Kolar, Karnataka, by workers over unpaid wages and demands for better working conditions, the company announced in a statement on Saturday. “Since unfortunate events at our Narasapura facility, we have found that some workers were not paid correctly, or on time. We deeply regret and apologize to all of our workers,” it said in the statement.

“Safety and well being of our team members is always our top priority and core value at Wistron,” Wistron also said.

The company also announced that it is restructuring the teams in view of the incident. “We are removing the Vice President who oversees our business in India. We are also enhancing our processes and restructuring our teams to ensure these issues cannot happen again,” Wistron said.

Wistron is one of Apple’s top global suppliers. In India, it makes iPhone 7 handsets and second-generation iPhone SE devices.

Violence erupted at Wistron’s facility in Kolar where a swarm of workers went on a rampage over non-payment of salaries and pay cuts at around 6:30am during a shift change on December 12. The workers pelted stones, smashed glass windows, damaged vehicles, furniture and other office equipment in the process.

The company has claimed it suffered a loss worth Rs 437.40 crore. This included office equipment, mobile phones, production machinery and related equipment worth Rs 412.5 crore, infrastructure worth Rs 10 crore, Rs 60 lakh worth cars and golf carts, smartphones and other gadgets worth Rs 1.5 crore, as per company executive TD Prashanth.

Wistron has filed a First Information Report (FIR) with against 7,000 people, including 5,000 of its contract workers and 2,000 that did not work there, the police said.

Apple also said it is probing the incident and whether Wistron adhered to its labour practices. It sent its staff and auditors to the site to cooperate with the local police.