Apple Inc places Wistron on probation over violations at Indian plant


Following a preliminary review by Apple Inc of its Indian supplier Wistron, the tech giant announced on Saturday it is putting the Taiwanese firm on probation and would not give it new business until corrective actions are taken at its southern India plant.

In a statement, Apple said its audit has found violations of its “supplier code of conduct” which resulted in the violent riot at the Wistron plant in southern Karnataka state last weekend.

Apple said that Wistron failed to implement proper working hour management processes, which “led to payment delays for some workers in October and November”.

The Cupertino-California based company said it will continue to monitor Wistron’s progress on corrective action, adding that its “main objective is to make sure all the workers are treated with dignity and respect, and fully compensated promptly”.

In a statement earlier on Saturday, Wistron admitted that some workers at its plant in Karnataka’s Kolar district had not been paid properly.

As a corrective measure, the company said it was removing a top executive overseeing its India business.

Contract workers angry over unpaid wages destroyed property, factory gear and iPhones at the plant early on Dec 12, causing millions of dollars in losses to the Taiwanese contract manufacturer and forcing it to shut the plant.

The plant – located some 50km outside of the southern tech hub of Bengaluru – assembles one iPhone model, and became operational earlier this year.

“This is a new facility and we recognise that we made mistakes as we expanded,” Wistron said in the statement.

“Some of the processes we put in place to manage labour agencies and payments need to be strengthened and upgraded.”

An inspection of the plant by Karnataka state officials following the violence at Wistron stated that the company could not cope with the rapid scaling up of manpower and breached several laws at its factory. (Source: The Straits Times)