The Wistron factory, an Apple supplier in the Kolar district of Karnataka, about 50 km from Bangalore, could not withstand the rapid increase in manpower and violated several laws, a government inspection revealed after the violence at the site last weekend. Several thousand contract workers at Wistron allegedly damaged property, factory gear and iPhones at the plant in early December 12, causing millions of dollars in damage to the Taiwanese contract manufacturer and forcing the plant to close. The manpower at the plant, which assembled and commissioned an iPhone model earlier this year, has grown from a licensed 5,000 to 10,500 workers in a short period of time, according to a report by the Karnataka Factories Division.
“Although the factory employs 10,500 workers, the HR department is not adequately set up with staff well versed in labor laws,” the inspection report conducted on December 13 said. The report notes that there is a wide gap between the methods followed by the factory and the legal requirements. Wistron Request for comment not responded. Apple, Did not even comment on conducting its own audit in the factory.
Wistron Introduced The report states that 12-hour shifts from previous eight-hour shifts at the plant in October, however, have failed to properly address the “confusion in workers’ minds ”about their new wages, including overtime. The company did not even inform the factories about the new work shifts. Wistron, which also changed its attendance policy in October, did not resolve an error for two months, prompting an investigation into what led to the employee’s presence being incorrectly registered. Low pay for contract workers and domestic workers and forcing female staff to work overtime without legal permission are some of the other violations highlighted in the report.
Within hours of the demolition, a previous government audit of the factory found “numerous labor law violations,” Reuters had previously reported. Bangalore, the Silicon City of India, and Karnataka, home to global firms Bosch and Volvo, have in the past sought to appease investors by condemning the violence and assuring Wistron that it would support it. “The company has launched an internal audit which will help improve the systems,” said Gaurav Gupta, senior executive, Karnataka Industries.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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