Wistron Resumes iPhone Production at Violence-Hit India Factory

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Apple supplier Wistron has reportedly restarted operations at its iPhone manufacturing facility in India, where workers caused widespread damage late last year over claims of unpaid wages.

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In a machine translation from Chinese-language paper United Daily News:

Indian media reported that the local Minister of Industry, Jagadish Shettar, stated that Wistron had resumed production at the factory in accordance with relevant licensing conditions. In the future, relevant departments will pay attention to labor issues and do not hope that similar incidents will happen again.

In December 2020, disgruntled staff went on a rampage at the plant, upturning cars and destroying equipment and furniture.

Wistron initially claimed that the incident was caused by people of unknown identities from outside who intruded into and damaged its facility with unclear intentions.

However, local media reported that many of the 2,000 employees were involved in the violence, with many claiming that they had not been fully paid for four months and were being forced to do extra shifts.

Following the unrest, Apple placed Wistron on probation while it conducted an audit, which found that the plant showed violations of its “Supplier Code of Conduct.”

According to Apple, Wistron had failed to implement proper working hour management processes, which “led to payment delays for some workers in October and November.”

The plant was set to hire up to 20,000 more workers to manufacture more iPhone SE devices, but the plan was put on ice and Apple said it would not award Wistron any new business until it addressed how its workers are treated.

According to today’s report, Wistron’s ‌iPhone‌ manufacturing team has cooperated with independent auditors and Wistron in the past three months to ensure that the plant has established the necessary systems required to resume production.

Apple said in February that workers at the plant would receive a new training program to ensure they understood their rights and how to raise questions. According to Wistron, all employees have now received full salaries and a new recruitment and salary system has been implemented to ensure that everyone gets the correct salary and provides the correct documentation.

The Apple probation has delayed the tech company’s manufacturing push into India, where it has pledged to invest $1 billion dollars as it seeks to diversify its global supply chains.

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