iPhone production is reportedly underway once again at Apple assembly partner Wistron‘s strife-torn factory in India. The plant was hit by violence last year as workers rioted over claims of unpaid wages.
From Chinese-language paper United Daily News (machine translation):
Indian media reported that the local Minister of Industry, Jagadish Shettar, stated that Wistron had resumed production at the factory in accordance with relevant licensing conditions. In the future, relevant departments will pay attention to labor issues and do not hope that similar incidents will happen again.
Workers at the iPhone assembly plant rioted in December, 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. A video was posted on social media showing smashed glass panels, broken lights, and overturned vehicles at the Bangalore Wistron plant.
Workers claimed they had not received their full pay for over four months and were 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).
Following the worker unrest, Apple put Wistron on probation while it conducted an audit. The audit showed there had been violations of the company’s “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.”
Plans were in place to hire up to 20,000 more workers at the plant to manufacture additional iPhone SE devices, but that plan was placed on the back burner, with Apple saying it would not be awarding any additional business to Wistron until the assembly partner addressed the treatment of its workers.
According to the UDN report, Wistron’s iPhone production team has cooperated with independent authors and Wistron over the past three months to ensure the plant was ready to resume production.