Wistron begins settling pending dues of workers at Kolar iPhone plant

Employees told TNM that most of them received their outstanding pay and that the company has promised to pay the rest.
Wistron Kolar plant
Wistron Kolar plant
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Apple’s iPhone maker Wistron has reportedly begun settling pending dues of workers, a week after they went on a rampage at its manufacturing plant in Kolar, Karnataka. According to an Economic Times report, the company is reaching out to the workers through phone calls to confirm receipt of the payment. 

Employees told TNM that most of them received their outstanding pay and that the company has promised to pay the rest. One of the employees TNM spoke to said that he has dues worth Rs 8,000 outstanding. “I was supposed to get Rs 24,000 back. The company paid me Rs 17,000. They had called me and they said they would pay the rest. I hope the company continues this,” Gagan*, said. 

Sandhya, an employee who allegedly did not receive her overtime pay, said that the money was compensated by the company on Friday. “I was owed Rs 16,000 in overtime pay. This was including the days I worked on festivals. They gave me the money yesterday (Friday),” she said. 

On December 12, scores of workers at the Wistron plant in Kolar vandalised the factory after the company failed to pay workers and was deducting their salaries. After initially crying conspiracy and reports that suggested the company was likely to roll back expansion plans, investigation into the event found that Wistron has violated several labour laws. 

Wistron too, admitted on Saturday that some workers were not paid correctly or on time. Having ramped up the number of workers over the past few months, Wistron said that it made mistakes as it expanded, and acknowledged that some of the processes it put in place to manage labour agencies and payments need to be strengthened and upgraded.

It has removed Vincent Lee, Vice President (innovation business group) of Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing India as a disciplinary measure and 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.

Wistron is also facing probation from its contractor Apple, which said that it found Wistron violating its ‘Supplier Code of Conduct’ by failing to implement proper working hour management processes, which led to payment delays for some workers in October and November. 

Wistron will not receive any business from Apple until corrective measures are put in place. Apple’s employees, along with independent auditors, will monitor Wistron’s progress.

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