Indian officials promised to restore order and conduct a “fair” investigation after a labor riot broke out at an Apple product plant not far from Bangalore.
Police have been ordered to provide “necessary protection” for Taiwan-based gadget manufacturer Wistron, whose assembly plant was hit by a riot on Saturday morning, Karnataka State Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar said. He condemned the violence as “unfortunate and unacceptable” and promised “a full and fair investigation” into the incident.
At the same time, state officials said they were committed to protecting workers’ rights, but stressed that labor disputes must be resolved through legal means.
Videos circulating on social media purportedly show angry employees smashing glass doors and windows and destroying furniture inside the lobby of a Wistron plant that makes iPhones and other IT products. They overturned several vehicles in the parking lot and started fires outside the building.
Karnataka: #Violence at iPhone production plant run by Taiwan-based #Wistron Corp at Narasapura (in Kolar district) near #Bengaluru.
Employees allege they have not been paid properly. pic.twitter.com/GKbeFeyRKc
— TOI Bengaluru (@TOIBengaluru) December 12, 2020
Police detained 132 people in connection with the riot. Police Inspector General Seemant Kumar Singh told Indian media that workers were complaining about “salary payment.”
#Apple #iPhone Manufacturing/assembly unit (Wistron) in #Kolar near #Bengaluru completely vandalized by employees. Over thousand employees were protesting against alleged salary dues/ under payments. pic.twitter.com/iJMNHWc9ey
— Hyderabad Post (@PostHyderabad) December 12, 2020
The Times of India quoted employees who said they were being paid significantly less than they had been promised when joining the company.
iPhone manufacturing unit vandalized near Bengaluru. Employees went on a rampage at Wistron Corporation's factory in Narsapura. They allege their salaries haven't been paid properly. pic.twitter.com/K2VQr5xU6I
— Harish Upadhya (@harishupadhya) December 12, 2020
Workers told the paper they had begun discussing salaries on the factory floors and that their anger spontaneously turned into violence by the time the shift had ended.
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