Furious Over Brutal Exploitation, Thousands Of Wistron Workers Robbed And Ransacked iPhone Factory

Aadhya Khatri - Dec 14, 2020


Furious Over Brutal Exploitation, Thousands Of Wistron Workers Robbed And Ransacked iPhone Factory

A day after the incident at the Wistron facility in Karnataka, the company’s employees is not sure when the factory can resume its operation

After thousands of workers of India’s Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing ransacked the iPhone manufacturing facility of at Narasapura industrial area on Saturday, the company is estimated to suffer a loss of ₹437.70 crores.

According to the Times of India, the violence erupted when more than 2,000 workers of the company left the factory after their night shift on Saturday.

The plant’s administrative officer Prashanth T.D, in his complaint filed with the police, said many outsiders with clubs and rods broke into the facility at around 6 A.M and forced their ways into the HR block.

Wistron Snippng
Many outsiders with clubs and rods broke into the facility at around 6 A.M and forced their ways into the HR block

According to a senior police officer, the attackers breached four main entrances to gain access to the premise, ransacked offices, shattered desks, lockers, and ruined documents with employee detail.

Once the attackers got inside, the contract workers who had been demanding their wages which were three to four months late, and their overtime pay, joined them. The officer said the police were working to identify the leaders of the mob based on Wistron’s complaint.

Security forces of the building tried to prevent them from entering but the mob allegedly prevailed over and beat them. Even when a contingent of police arrived, their force was no match for thousands of other workers. Two golf carts and four cars with an estimated value of approximately ₹60 lakh inside the premise were set on fire before another police contingent could make it to the site.

Iphone Plant Violence Karnataka
Security forces of the building tried to prevent them from entering but the mob allegedly prevailed over and beat them

As stated by the police FIR, after raiding the offices, the mob targeted the production unit where employees kept their phones and valuables in lockers and looted them. The attackers allegedly destroyed CCTVs, printers, computers, and thousands of smartphones.

As the violence intensified, machinery, laptops, phones, and other equipment with an estimated value of ₹412 crores were smashed. The damage the factory itself suffered from broken AC power units, floors, and ceilings with an estimated value of about ₹10 crores.

CN Ashwathnarayan - deputy chief minister of Karnataka state said his government promised to solve the problem expeditiously.

Karnataka iphone factories wistron violence
Two golf carts and four cars with an estimated value of approximately ₹60 lakh inside the premise were set on fire before another police contingent could make it to the site

According to a trade union leader, there is brutal exploitation at the facility.

The company has around 15,000 workers with the majority of them contracted via recruitment companies.

Apple hasn’t said anything about the incident but past events show that the Cupertino tech giant takes the condition at its partner’s factories seriously.

128 People Arrested

On Sunday, the police booked 128 people involved in the protest. The officer added that those who set the attack in motion were on the run and the police were tracking them down. More than 300 others have been detained following the attack.

Wistron Iphone Plant Vandalised
The officer added that those who set the attack in motion were on the run and the police were tracking them down

India’s Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing has approximately 15,000 workers but more than 13,600 are contracted workers.

Wistron iPhone Plant May Take Months To Resume Normal Operation, The Government Promised Protection

A day after the incident involving angry workers at the Wistron facility in Karnataka, the company’s employees is not sure when the factory can resume its operation.

One of Wistron’s employees, Shiva, said the management had made no contact with the employees, offices were damaged and the factory suffered a massive loss of property. He said he didn’t think workers could come back immediately because the investigation was still in progress.

Karnataka iphone factories wistron violence 1
A day after the incident involving angry workers at the Wistron facility in Karnataka, the company’s employees is not sure when the factory can resume its operation

He said video recordings were taken away by the police and those who participated in the violent protest had been identified. It would probably take months for the factory to be fully operational again, and until then, he added, other workers had no idea what their future would be.

Jagadish Shettar - Minister for Major and Medium Industries of Karnataka said it was wrong to take such a matter into one’s hand, no matter what the root cause of the issue was. He said the wage issue would have been properly dealt with if it had been processed as per law.

He also said the government would take strict measures to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. The government has also made contact with the Superintendents of Police and the District Superintendents of Kolar District to make the needed protection.

The mistier promised a fair and full investigation into the incident and those who broke the law would be punished.

>>> Apple Reportedly Takes iPad Parts To Fill In For iPhone 12 Pro Component Shortage

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