Workers reportedly went on the rampage at an iPhone production plant in India on Sunday and caused widespread damage to the Wistron-run factory over claims of unpaid wages.
Video posted on social media showed smashed CCTV cameras and glass panels, broken lights and upturned vehicles at Wistron’s manufacturing facility in Bangalore. According to the Times of India, many of the 2,000 employees leaving at the end of their Friday-night shift were involved in the violence.
Disgruntled staff claimed that they have not been fully paid for four months and are being forced to do extra shifts. One worker alleged an engineering graduate was promised Rs 21,000 ($285) per month, but instead they initially got Rs 16,000 ($217), which had been reduced down to Rs 12,000 ($163) in the last three months. Non-engineering graduates’ monthly salary was said to have been reduced to Rs 8,000 ($108).
According to a worker who spoke to the Times, employees had started discussing their salaries and some alleged that they had received as low as Rs 500 ($7) in their bank accounts. The anger had turned into violence by the time the shift ended.
1/4 #Violence at @Apple #iPhone production plant run by Taiwan-based #Wistron Corp at Narasapura near #Bengaluru in IndiaNearly 2,000 employees, alleged not been paid, went on a rampage destroying the company’s furniture, assembly units and even attempted to set fire to vehicles pic.twitter.com/qtlHyJiRAh— Crisbin Joseph Mathew (@CrisbinJoseph) December 12, 2020
According to BBC News, Apple partner Wistron told AFP news agency that “the incident was caused by people of unknown identities from outside who intruded into and damaged its facility with unclear intentions.”
Wistron employs about 15,000 workers at the factory, according to local media, with most contracted via recruitment firms. Indian police reportedly arrested over 100 staff as a result of the rampage. Wistron said it would resume operations as soon as possible.
Bangalore is the capital of southern Karnataka state and is India’s technology hub.
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Author: Tim Hardwick