Wistron Admitted Mishandling Workers' Wages, Being Put On Probation With No New Business From Apple

Aadhya Khatri - Dec 21, 2020


Wistron Admitted Mishandling Workers' Wages, Being Put On Probation With No New Business From Apple

Following a recent violent protest in one of Wistron plants in India, Apple has put the Taiwanese company on probation until further notice

Following a recent violent protest in one of Wistron’s plants in India, Apple has put the Taiwanese company on probation until further notice. Wistron was accused of breaking labor laws and the ongoing investigation shows the accusations are legitimate.

The protest took place earlier this month at the Narasapura plant in India. The protesters set some vehicles parked in the factory on fire, ransacked offices, and looted personal items as well as iPhones being made.

Wistron Apple Employees Protest
The protesters set some vehicles parked in the factory on fire, ransacked offices, and looted personal items as well as iPhones being made

According to the workers, they were being paid less than the amount Wistron promises in the first place.

After conducting an investigation into the claim, the local authority confirms that the accusations were accurate. Before the riot, workers at the plant were forced to work extra hours but were underpaid. There is another report claiming that middlemen were exploiting and skimming contract workers’ wages.

While Wistron has fired its vice president of India business and made public an apology, Apple still decides to suspend business with the Taiwanese company until the working condition gets better.

Last month, Apple put another contractor – Pegatron, on probation due to unlawful practice. Critics are demanding stricter regulation from the Cupertino giant. Some of them even claimed that Apple has been turning a blind eye to crime to ramp up production.

Apple suspended Pegatron
Last month, Apple put another contractor – Pegatron, on probation due to unlawful practice

On Saturday, Wistron said it had fired the vice president of business in India, a week after the riot at the Narasapura facility broke out. The Taiwanese company was making iPhone SE 2 at the violence-hit plant when the incident took place. It has also admitted its wrong-doings in handling wage payment.

Wistron said it was sacking the India vice president, improving and restructuring its teams to ensure that such an incident would never happen again in the future. While the company didn’t elaborate on which executive has been fired, some sources claimed that Vincent Lee was the one.

The Taiwanese company remarked that it was conducting an investigation into the matter and admitted that some workers hadn’t been paid on time and properly. It also issued an apology to its workers at the plant and said it ran into problems with its expansion.

Wistron Riot The Apple Post
The Taiwanese company remarked that it was conducting an investigation into the matter and admitted that some workers hadn’t been paid on time and properly

Wistron added that it needed to upgrade and strengthen the process to manage labor payments. Immediate actions have been made, including disciplinary ones, according to the company.

Wistron has hired an addition of 7,000 workers, increasing its number of staff from 2,000 to 9,000. The company said its goal was to compensate all workers and it was working its best to do so.

One of the measures the Taiwanese company has taken is to set up an employee assistance program and a 24-hour grievance hotline in Hindi, English, Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada to make sure that workers can share their concerns without revealing their identity.

Apple, in response to the incident at the plant, said that Wistron had been put on probation and the company would not receive any new business until all the corrections have been done. The Cupertino tech giant is also conducting its investigation into that matter.

Wistron probation
Apple, in response to the incident at the plant, said that Wistron had been put on probation and the company would not receive any new business until all the corrections have been done

According to the iPhone maker, preliminary findings point to the breaking of its Supplier Code of Conduct, which is the mishandling of working hour management that has led to delay in payment for workers in October and November.

Apple said Wistron would have to take corrective actions and compensate all workers promptly. Independent auditors and its employees will monitor the process to ensure workers are treated with respect and dignity.

The local police have booked over 160 people for their connection with the violent protest in which vehicles have been set on fire, doors were broken, and the facility was destroyed. Videos of the incident are now flooding online.

Wistron violence
The local police have booked over 160 people for their connection with the violent protest in which vehicles have been set on fire, doors were broken, and the facility was destroyed

Karnataka political parties have done a thorough investigation into the matter and expressed their concerns that the incident would have a negative effect on the state’s investment-friendly image.

Wistron is among the 16 entities that have received incentives as part of the Indian government’s incentive plan.

For now, iPhone 11 and iPhone XR are being made by Foxconn at their factories in Chennai, Wistron is assembling iPhone 7 in Bengaluru. And the violence-hit facility was making iPhone SE 2.

>>> More Than 20,000 iPhones Were Stolen Following Indian Plant Riot

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