Karnataka High Court, on March 8, granted bail to two of the accused--Uday Bhanu Singh and Vinod Kumar H--were granted bail in Wistron violence case. They had been arrested by the Vemagal Police for participating in the violence that broke out at Wistron Corporation’s manufacturing facility in December 2020. The Vemagal Police had registered a case against 7,000 unknown persons in relation to the violence.
The Police had arrested over 150 people of which only two have secured bail. The labourers were booked for unlawful assembly, rioting with arms, criminal intimidation, trespassing and intentional insult after the plaintiff for Wistron accused them [the labourers] of damaging the property of the company.
The company executive TD Prashanth had stated in his complaint that office equipment, mobile phones, production machinery and related equipment worth Rs 412.5 crore were lost. The company had also alleged that employees damaged the building, vehicles, set them on fire, damaged costly equipment including machines and computers. They had alleged that the firm had to incur Rs 437 crore loss due to the vandalism. The loss was later downgraded to Rs 52 crores.
The labourers working at Wistron Corporations iPhone manufacturing facility had made repeated attempts of highlighting their concerns over the wages. The employees took to violence on December 12, 2020, after the officials refused to engage with them; videos of employees vandalising the property in the Kolar district went viral on the same day. The employees said that their anger was pent up for over six months from when the incident occurred, as the management failed to address their grievances while they struggled with delayed payments and lack of overtime pay.
During the investigation of the violence that erupted, the firm Wistron was found guilty of violating the labour laws which led to the removal of Vice President (Innovation Business group) Vincent Lee in disciplinary action. The company had also set up a 24-hour grievance helpline as a corrective measure. Additionally, Apple had demoted the firm to probationary status for violating its ‘Supplier Code of Conduct.