Bengaluru: Disgruntled workers wreak havoc at Wistron's iPhone manufacturing plant
A workers' unrest at an iPhone manufacturing plant near Bengaluru, Karnataka, turned violent early Saturday morning. Reportedly, a majority of the nearly 2,000 employees at the Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron's factory in Narasapura went on a rampage over payment of salaries. The Karnataka Police said that it has arrested 80 workers in connection with the incident. Here are more details.
The incident occurred at around 6:30 am during the change of shifts, CNBC-TV18 reported. Videos of the violence that emerged online showed employees vandalizing the office space, breaking window panes, damaging cars parked on the premise, and shouting slogans. Two vehicles were reportedly set ablaze. The police resorted to baton-charging to disperse the crowd and many workers were hospitalized, The Economic Times reported.
Seemanta Kumar, IGP Central Range (Bengaluru), told CNBC-TV18 that they have acquired CCTV footage from the scene. Kumar said they are conducting a thorough investigation and have arrested 80 people so far. An FIR has been registered at the Narsapura Police station under sections pertaining to rioting, disturbing peace, and vandalism, SP Karthik Reddy told The News Minute.
Employees complained that the company had not paid their wages on time. "They have delayed payments every month. Some of us have not received payment for two months," a factory worker told TNM. The worker said that they had raised the issue with the company's management requesting timely payment of wages, albeit to no avail. Many who complained were allegedly fired.
Another employee told TNM that Wistron had sub-contracted hiring factory workers to six different firms, promising a wage of Rs. 16,000/month. The employee said, "When we showed up for work, we were informed that we would be getting Rs. 12,000 per month. According to the Factories Act, working hours are capped at 8 hours/day. The company is making us work for 12 hours straight."