Taiwan-based iPhone manufacturing unit Wistron is all set to restart operations at its Narasapura plant, close to Bengaluru. It has been two months since contract employees went on a rampage, destroying office property, due to irregularities in payment of salaries to workers.
“We have been suggesting to them (Wistron) to start and resume operations at the earliest and I’m sure in the coming days they will start operations, I will leave it to their judgement to choose the day to restart,” said Gaurav Gupta, Karnataka’s Additional Chief Secretary of Commerce and Industries.
The Karnataka government has made it top priority to restart operations at the plant as the violence had caused much damage to the state’s investment prospects, even drawing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention.
Government and independent investigations had revealed Wistron had violated labour norms and even breached the suppliers’ code of conduct. But the company has assured corrective action by implementing new hiring and payroll systems.
In its statement, Apple said: “As Wistron begins the process of hiring team members and restarting their operations, everyone at the facility will undergo a new training program to ensure they understand their rights and how they can raise any concerns.”
Wistron was put on probation and its Vice President of India operations, Vincent Lee, removed as part of the corrective action. Apple has also said it would continue to remain on-site and validate the new processes put in place through employees and independent auditors.
Wistron in its statement said: “All employees have been promptly and fully paid, and we implemented new hiring and payroll systems to ensure everyone is paid correctly and provided the correct documentation going forward.”
As most of the accused in the case were contract employees of Wistron, the government has asked the company to comply with all acts, rules and regulations while hiring.
“Keeping in mind the changed situation, Wistron has done adequate background check so as to convince themselves of the bonafide of the employees and workman, I’m confident that with that kind of background check they should not be any problem in running the factory,” Gupta said.