Serious violations of labor laws were taking place at the iPhone manufacturing facility in India where a workers’ protest on Saturday turned violent and caused US$7 million worth of damage, a report by the Karnataka state government has found, according to the South China Morning Post.
The article adds that exploitative practices such as underpayment of wages, irregular hours and poor working conditions were common at the Wistron Corporation assembling and manufacturing unit in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, as detailed by its Department of Factories, Boilers, Industrial Safety and Health.
The iPhone manufacturing plant at Naraspura, India, run by Taiwan-based tech giant Wistron Corp., came under attack on Saturday from its employees over salary payments (or, rather, lack thereof), according to the Times of India.
The article says that a majority of the nearly 2,000 employees, who were exiting the facility after completing their night-shift, went on a rampage destroying the company’s furniture, assembly units and even attempted to set fire to vehicles.
About 150 workers were arrested on charges including unlawful assembly and rioting after thousands demonstrated against salary delays and ill treatment at the Wistron factory, which is 60km from India’s tech capital of Bangalore. Police are looking to investigate a further 5,000 people, according to the South China Morning Post.
Sources told The Times of India that the employee unrest was triggered by salary remittances made to them. Sources said the employees were angry that the company was not paying the amount that was promised to them at the time of joining.
Apple has temporarily stopped iPhone production at the plant and will investigate the matter, according to Reuters.
“We have teams on the ground and have immediately launched a detailed investigation at Wistron’s Narasapura facility,” Apple said in an email to Reuters, adding it “was dedicated to ensuring everyone in its supply chain was treated with dignity and respect.”