Representational Image
Representational Image

Bengaluru: The violence that rocked Taiwan-headquartered Wistron unit that manufactures Apple phones near Bengaluru took a new turn with the company admitting that there were major lapses on its part. Minutes later, Apple placed Wistron, its contract manufacturer, on probation and the company sacked its India Vice President Vincent Lee.

Apple said in a statement that Wistron will not receive any new business from Apple before they complete corrective actions. In a statement, Apple said its employees from the parent company, along with independent auditors, will monitor their progress. “Our main objective is to make sure all the workers are treated with dignity and respect, and fully compensated promptly,” it added.

It expressed deep disappointment on the violations of its ‘Supplier Code of Conduct’ by failing to implement proper working hour management processes. This led to payment delays for some workers in October and November, Apple added.

“As always, our focus is on making sure everyone in our supply chain is protected and treated with dignity and respect. We are very disappointed and taking immediate steps to address these issues,” Apple said in a statement.

On December 12, thousands of workers at the iPhone manufacturing plant in Kolar vandalised the plant in anger over unpaid and delayed wages. “We deeply regret this and apologise to all of our workers,” Wistron said in a statement.

The company said that its investigation found that some workers were not paid correctly, or on time.

It has removed Vincent Lee, Vice President (innovation business group) of Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing India as a disciplinary measure and has also set up a 24-hour grievance hotline in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English to ensure all workers can voice any concerns they may have, anonymously.

Meanwhile, Wistron has reportedly begun settling pending dues of workers. Aggrieved workers said they were paid between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 for overtime from Friday onwards.

Earlier, the Karnataka Labour Department had found that several labour laws were violated at the Kolar plant. In a letter to the Union Labour Department, it noted that a technical malfunction in the system that records employee attendance led to workers not being paid and their wages being deducted. Though the system was set up in March this year, Wistron failed to address the glitches.

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Free Press Journal