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Apple Puts iPhone Assembly Partner Wistron on Probation Following Indian Plant Unrest

Apple Puts iPhone Assembly Partner Wistron on Probation Following Indian Plant Unrest

Apple has placed iPhone assembly partner Wistron on probation in the wake of employee unrest at the company’s southern India plant.

Reuters reports that Apple conducted an audit on Wistron’s Bangalore plant, which manufactures the iPhone SE, showed violations of its “Supplier Code of Conduct.”

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

The Cupertino firm said on Saturday it would not award the Taiwanese contract manufacturer any new business until it addressed the way workers were treated at its southern India plant.

Workers at an iPhone assembly plant in India rioted on December 12, causing widespread damage to the Wistron-run factory. Workers were reportedly upset over unpaid wages and working conditions.

Many of the 2,000 employees leaving at the end of their Friday-night shift were involved in the violence. Video that was posted on social media showed smashed glass panels, broken lights, and overturned vehicles at the Bangalore Wistron plant.

Wistron has admitted that some workers had not been paid correctly or on time, pledged to restructure its teams, and said it has removed a senior executive overseeing its business in India.

Apple said it will continue to monitor Wistron’s progress on corrective action.

“Our main objective is to make sure all the workers are treated with dignity and respect, and fully compensated promptly,” Apple said, adding that it continued to investigate issues at the plant.

The Bangalore Wistron plant had been expected to hire up to 20,000 additional workers to add another iPhone model to its production line, but these plans have now been abandoned.

The Apple probation is expected to delay its manufacturing push in India, where it had previously announced that it would invest one billion dollars in an effort to diversify its global supply chains. Apple supply partners Foxconn and Pegatron also have operations inside of India.

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