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Thousands of iPhones looted from the Wistron factory

December 15, 2020

Protests that erupted at the Wistron factory, which makes iPhones, in India's Narsapura industrial zone and turned into riots - resulted in thousands of iPhones being looted from the factory.

As reported by The Times of India, Taiwanese company Westeron estimates the total damage to be over $ 59 million.

According to the Taiwanese company Westron's complaint to the police and the Ministry of Labor, the amount includes damage to the factory's assembly line, factory property and thousands of stolen iPhones.

It was reported that the violence that began in the early hours of Saturday lasted for two hours, during which time the damages were caused by withholding the salaries of factory workers.

State Minister of Labor, Shrvram Hebbar, said that Westron Corporation has contracted with six foreign companies to employ about 8,900 employees in the Kolar plant, in addition to having 1,200 permanent employees.

The company has paid these contractors for their work, and according to the government, the dispute between Wistron and the contract workers has been going on for three months.

The Minister of Labor denounced the violence and described the company's losses as unacceptable, and the Minister of Industry (Jagadish Shettar) attributed the violence to a misunderstanding between the three parties: Wistron, labor contractors and employees.

"What we're hearing is that the company has made payments to the labor contractors, who are delaying payments to the employees, and this is being verified," he said.

The Department of Labor has issued alerts to Westron stating that it has three days to pay employees' salaries, either from Wistron or the labor contractors.

Kolar Police are investigating that the violence was planned as intentional acts of destroying property.

The (Economic Times) newspaper said: Apple is investigating that the Taiwanese contractor has violated Apple's supplier rules at the iPhone manufacturing facility near Bangalore, in southern India.

A group of media reports stated that workers had destroyed the factory and about 100 people were arrested. The violence, which comes at a time when the state is making all efforts to attract investors, put the government in an embarrassing position.

The Taiwanese company, Wistron, is one of the major global suppliers of Apple, and manufactures the iPhone 7 and second generation iPhone SE devices in India.