Wistron Factory Vandalism: Karnataka Gov’t registers FIR against 7,000 employees

Karnataka State IT/ITes Employee Union, and other organisations have condemned the criminal charges pressed against the contract workers

Wistron Factory Vandalism

The Karnataka Government has pressed criminal charges against 7,000 employees, including 5,000 contract workers of Wistron Private Limited over the destruction and violence that led to the company suffering a whopping loss of four hundred and thirty-seven crores on December 12.

The first registered IT union in Karnataka called Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees Union (KITU) has demanded the immediate withdrawal of criminal charges against the employees of the iPhone manufacturing plant, run by the Taiwan-based tech giant Wistron Corporation at Narasapura, 60 kilometres from Bengaluru in Kolar district.

A demonstration organised by Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) along with other progressive organisations like All Indian Kisan Sabha (AIKS), Student’s Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) was joined by KITU office bearers condemning the arrests and police repression on workers on Sunday, December 20.

According to the Financial Express, the Wistron administration admitted that some workers were not paid correctly, or on time at its Kolar iPhone manufacturing plant. “Since unfortunate events at our Narasapura facility we’ve found that some workers were not paid correctly, or on time. We deeply regret and apologize to all of our workers. We are removing the Vice President who oversees our business in India. We are also enhancing our processes and restructuring our teams to ensure these issues cannot happen again,” said Winstron in a statement.

A report released by All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) revealed the horrific conditions the factory workers were forced to work through including compulsory 12-hour shifts, delay and non-payment of wages, no grievance redressal mechanism for them and night shifts for women.

Despite being promised rupees twenty thousand, the report mentioned that they received substantially less wages even after having worked overtime on all days without leave. They have yet not received their wages for November. The vandalism of the factory was a result of months of pent-up frustration and angst over not having received their dues from the HR and other Wistron officials. Around 150 workers have already been arrested. The entire report may be read here.

KITU has been vocal about the approach of the Karnataka Government as they have turned a blind eye to the litany of labour law violations by the company and supported the police action of filing criminal cases against several contract workers. It is appalling that despite the Apple Corporation having accepted the shortcomings of their branch office, the workers are all set to be prosecuted.  


Wistron Factory violence: AICCTU blames State and management for exploitation



Related Articles