Apple Places Supplier Wistron on Probation Following Worker Unrest in India [Updated]

Apple has placed supplier Wistron on probation following unrest at its plant in southern India (via Reuters).

iphone 6s india wistron

An audit conducted by Apple found that Wistron's Bangalore plant, which manufactures the iPhone SE, showed violations of its "Supplier Code of Conduct." According to Apple, Wistron failed to implement proper working hour management processes which "led to payment delays for some workers in October and November."

Workers contracted by Wistron, angry over unpaid wages, destroyed property, equipment, and stock on December 12, resulting in millions of dollars in losses and the forced closure of the plant. Wistron has now admitted that some workers had not been paid correctly or on time, pledged to restructure its teams, and said it has removed a senior executive overseeing its business in India.

The plant in Bangalore was reportedly set to hire up to 20,000 more workers to manufacture an additional iPhone model, but these plans have now been abandoned. Apple commented that it will not award Wistron any new business until it addressed how workers are treated. The company will, however, continue to monitor Wistron's progress on corrective action.

The Apple probation is expected to delay the company's manufacturing push into India, where it has pledged to invest one billion dollars as it seeks to diversify its global supply chains. The only remaining Apple suppliers with operations in India are Foxconn and Pegatron.

Elsewhere, another labor dispute broke out at an iPhone-manufacturing Pegatron plant in Shanghai, according to United Daily News. Thousands of temporary workers were reportedly unhappy with the announcement that they needed to transfer to Pegatron's Kunshan plant, resulting in "chaotic" mass gatherings as workers demanded reimbursement.

It is now believed that the events in Bangalore and Shanghai have put significantly more demand on Zhengzhou, which contains the largest ‌iPhone‌ assembly plant.

Update: A report from the Economic Times is now citing legal expertise suggesting that Apple may also be held responsible for the labor violations in Bangalore.

"According to the Contract Labor (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, the contractor is responsible for payment of wages and the principal employer is ultimately responsible for it," said legal experts speaking to Economic Times.

This means that Indian authorities are able to seek explanations from both Apple and Wistron, legally implicating Apple in the causes of the unrest.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Top Rated Comments

now i see it Avatar
46 months ago
Designed in California
Enslaved fron California
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
reyesmac Avatar
46 months ago
For a company that demands total control over its IP it can't just act like it is blissfully unaware of the labor conditions of its factories. If they can demand they create their phones in an exact way they can also demand how the payment structure for those employees is to be done. So yeah, they should be held responsible so that they eventually do something about it. They should have a set rate at which they determine profit form these factories and should not net windfalls due to those contractors short changing their employees.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
46 months ago

It seems like someone is trying to hurt Apple. With the gaming scuffle, and Facebook and the swamp arrayed against Apple, it's looking like someone is targeting them. Who, why, Hmm... Is it China, thinking of losing more manufacturing? Is it the swamp seeking to take them out? Who did they piss off.
His name is Tim Cook. All of these messes are of Apple’s own making. It’d be quite easy for Apple to fix any/all of them.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Darth Tulhu Avatar
46 months ago

India is a wonderful country with great people but is it really meant to be a manufacturing hub?
Maximum profit relies on a cheap labor force. Other than that, I'm not from India so I'll make zero assumptions regarding its people.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
doboy Avatar
46 months ago

that’s where they need to be
And I need to be in Hawaii right now, but I'm not.
People cry over $550 headphones that's made in Vietnam, are they willing to pay 50-100% more?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PinkyMacGodess Avatar
46 months ago

India is a wonderful country with great people but is it really meant to be a manufacturing hub?
Was China in the beginning? Bangladesh? On and on, manufacturers have sought new hell holes to exploit for cheap labor and lax environmental and other regulations. If the worldwide labor union idea could succeed, worldwide standards of living would rise, and people wouldn't be exploited so easily. *shrug* Worldwide human rights. Sounds like a great idea!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)