/Apple puts Wistron on probation, confirms lapses in worker payment that led to violence

Apple puts Wistron on probation, confirms lapses in worker payment that led to violence

Apple has suspended new business to its key supplier, Wistron. The world’s most valuable company said on Saturday it found the Taiwanese company violated rules in treating employees with “dignity and respect” and that led to the violence at the Narasapura plant.

“Apple employees and independent auditors hired by Apple have been working around the clock to investigate the issues which occurred at Wistron’s Narasapura facility. While these investigations are ongoing, our preliminary findings indicate violations of our Supplier Code of Conduct by failing to implement proper working hour management processes. This led to payment delays for some workers in October and November,” Apple said in a statement.

Workers employed by Wistron’s contract agencies went on a rampage on December 12, citing ill treatment and non-payment of salaries, which resulted in damage to equipment and machinery. Wistron estimated the losses to be around Rs 50 crore.

The violence attracted global attention as Apple is looking at new factories outside China, while India is wooing global electronic manufacturers to set up units in the country.

Wistron in a statement said it has removed its vice-president for India for the violation. “We are also enhancing our processes and restructuring our teams to ensure these issues cannot happen again,” the company said.

Apple said: “As always, our focus is on making sure everyone in our supply chain is protected and treated with dignity and respect. We are very disappointed and taking immediate steps to address these issues. Wistron has taken disciplinary action and is restructuring their recruitment and payroll teams in Narasapura. They have also set up an employee assistance program and a 24-hour grievance hotline in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, and English to ensure all workers at the facility can voice any concerns, anonymously.

“We have placed Wistron on probation and they will not receive any new business from Apple before they complete corrective actions. Apple employees, along with independent auditors, will monitor their progress. Our main objective is to make sure all the workers are treated with dignity and respect, and fully compensated promptly.”

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