Wistron admits lapses at Kolar iPhone plant, sacks India Vice President

Wistron admitted that it made mistakes and that some of the processes put in place to manage labour agencies and payments need to be strengthened.
Wistron plant vandalised
Wistron plant vandalised

A week after several employees vandalised Wistron Corp’s iPhone facility in Kolar, Karnataka, Wistron admitted that some workers were not paid correctly and apologised to them. It said that its investigation of the event revealed that some workers were not paid correctly, or on time. “We deeply regret this and apologize to all of our workers,” the company said in a statement.

Wistron, in a statement on Saturday, admitted that it made mistakes as it expanded this new facility and that some of the processes it put in place to manage labour agencies and payments need to be strengthened and upgraded.

As a consequent disciplinary action, Vincent Lee, Vice President (innovation business group) of Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing India has been removed following the violence at the plant. The company added that it is enhancing processes and restructuring its teams to ensure these issues don’t happen again. 

It has also set up a 24-hour grievance hotline in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English to ensure all workers can voice any concerns they may have, anonymously.

“Our top priority is to ensure all workers are fully compensated immediately and we are working hard to achieve that.  We have established an employee assistance program for workers at the facility... We are deeply committed to our business and employees in India. We are working diligently on corrective actions to ensure this does not happen again,” Wistron added.

Wistron’s statement comes a day after Karnataka submitted a report to the Union Labour Department where the state government said that there was a malfunction in the system that records employee attendance and that Wistron had not addressed the issue after installing new systems post March 2020.

The report also noted that the unrest was due to increase in work hours from eight to 12 hours a day, and that the technical malfunction in the attendance system led to wages of workers being deducted even though they came to work.

Workers that TNM spoke also echoed the same and also said that they were not being paid for the overtime work they did, and that their regular pay would also arrive late.

Apart from this, the state’s Labour Department too found several labour law violations on the company’s part. The department’s investigation suggested that the contracting companies too had violated norms related to hiring personnel. Contracting companies that worked with Wistron included Quess Corp, Adecco India and Creative Engineers.

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