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Workers Riot at Wistron iPhone Plant in India Over Unpaid Wages, Working Conditions

Workers Riot at Wistron iPhone Plant in India Over Unpaid Wages, Working Conditions

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

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. Video that has been posted on social media shows smashed glass panels, broken lights, and overturned vehicles at the Bangalore Wistron plant.

Workers claim they have not received their full pay for over four months and are being forced to work 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).

The Times report says the violence began following a discussion among employees about their salaries. At least one worker claimed they had received as little as Rs 500 ($7) in their bank account.

BBC News reports Apple assembly partner 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.”

Approximately 15,000 workers are said to be employed at the facility, with most of the workers being hired via recruitment firms. Over 100 of the plant’s staff were arrested as a result of the rampage. Wistrons said it will resume operations as soon as possible.

Apple has announced that it is conducting an investigation into whether the supplier broke its guidelines for assembly partners. Apple told Reuters that it is cooperating with local police.

“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.

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