Apple puts another manufacturer on probation after India factory riot

Workers at Wistron's India plant rebelled over low pay.

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A view of Wistron, a Taiwanese-run iPhone factory, is seen at Narsapura, about 60 km from Bangalore on December 13, 2020. - Authorities vowed to crack down on workers who went on a violent rampage at a Taiwanese-run iPhone factory in southern India over allegations of unpaid wages and exploitation, with 100 people arrested so far. (Photo by Manjunath Kiran / AFP) (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP via Getty Images)
MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP via Getty Images

Apple has once again put a manufacturer on probation over reported labor abuses. The company told TechCrunch in a statement that it has halted new contracts for Wistron after discovering pay issues at the contractor’s factory in the Narasapura industrial area in India. Rioting broke out at the iPhone plant on December 12th after workers complained of unpaid wages, long hours and poor conditions.

A preliminary Apple investigation found Wistron hadn’t implemented “proper working hour management processes,” leading to stalled pay for some workers between October and November.

Wistron said it was addressing the complaints. In addition to bolstering its processes, it’s pulling an executive overseeing the company’s India business and instituting assistance programs and hotlines to ensure workers get help. Apple added that both its own staff and outside auditors would monitor Wistron’s work.

As with past labor issues, Apple only has limited control over working conditions at its suppliers. This comes roughly a year after the tech giant put Pegatron on notice, though, and isn’t a good look for a company that has tried to address labor violations for years. As much as overall conditions may have improved, these problems don’t appear to be going away any time soon.

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