Apple Inc is probing if its manufacturer Wistron Inc violated its supplier guidelines in its iPhone manufacturing facility near Bangalore, after an iPhone manufacturing facility in Kolar saw massive acts of violence from a section of the workers regarding wage issues, Economic Times reported.
Apple has set supplier guidelines in place, which mandate third-party staffing agencies to pay workers and provide them other benefits as per rules and on time. However, it looks like these rules were allegedly being broken in a facility in India.
Wistron, the Taiwanese manufacturing company is one of the top Apple phone manufacturers. It manufactures iPhone 7 and second-generation iPhone SE phones in India. Several media houses reported the violence that took place at the Narasapura industrial estate in Kolar district in the early hours of Saturday. Workers attacked the facility as they demanded wages to be paid along with overtime allowances.
Times of India reported that two battery-powered buggies were set on fire, six vehicles were damaged and glass windows and doors were smashed. Although a few security guards and floor managers were manhandled, there were no casualties.
The same article reported that the unrest started at around 5:45 am as the workers of the night shift were leaving the premises and the workers of the day shift were entering the premises. Due to the violence, 125 workers had been arrested by the police. According to commissioner C Sathyabhama, the cause of this violence was due to the failure of labor contractors to pay workers on time as well as the amount promised.
According to the report from the Economic Times, the California-based tech giant will now investigate whether there was any variance between the wages agreed to and the wages paid to the workers.
The situation is now being monitored by the executives at the Cupertino, California-based Apple, and Taiwan-based Wistron from their respective headquarters. In a statement, Apple said, “Apple is dedicated to ensuring everyone in our supply chain is treated with dignity and respect. We have teams on the ground and immediately launched a detailed investigation at Wistron’s Narasapura facility in India. We are also dispatching additional Apple team members and auditors to the facility. Our teams are in close touch with the local authorities and we’re offering our full support to their investigation.”
Wistron also said that it is cooperating in the investigation. Sudipto Gupta, managing director, Innovation Business Group, Wistron Smart Devices said in a statement, “We are deeply shocked by the events at our Narsapura facility. We follow the law and are supporting the authorities in their investigation. The safety and wellbeing of our team members are always our top priority.”
In a statement to the Taipei Stock Exchange, the Taiwanese manufacturing company said, “The accident was caused by unknown persons bursting in and causing damage to the plant with unclear intentions. The company always abides by the law, and fully supports and is cooperating with relevant authorities and police investigations.”