Violence in Karnataka: Violence at Karnataka iPhone plant: 125 Wistron employees arrested for arson | Bengaluru News

KOLAR / BENGALURU: Violence exploded at the manufacturing plant of Wistron Corp, which makes iPhones, in the Narasapura industrial estate in Kolar District in the early hours of Saturday, as workers looted the facilities demanding payment of wages on time along with payment of overtime.

Two battery-powered buggies caught fire, six vehicles were damaged, and the facility’s glass doors and windows were smashed by workers with iron rods. Although some security guards and floor managers were mistreated by the workers, there were no victims. The violence, which comes at a time when the state is making every effort to attract investors, has put the government in an embarrassing situation.
CN Chief Deputy Minister Ashwath Narayan said: “We strongly condemn the violence at the Wistron factory in Narasapura. Strict measures will be taken in accordance with the law against errant elements. ”
Police said they have arrested 125 workers for vandalism and arson and are identifying more who resorted to violence.
Kolar Deputy Commissioner C Sathyabhama said the unrest was due to labor contractors failing to pay workers on time and in the amount promised.
The problem started around 5.45am when night shift employees were leaving the premises and day shift employees were ready to enter.
Made to work more for less pay: personal
Although Wistron India MD Sudipto Gupta declined to comment, sources said workers were angry that the company was not paying the promised amount at the time of hire.
“While an engineering graduate was promised Rs 21,000 per month, his salary was reduced to Rs 16,000 and then to Rs 12,000. Diploma holders were promised 11,000 rupees and got around 5,000 rupees. There was no consistency regarding the date wages are credited to bank accounts, ”said an employee who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“While those in managerial positions worked 8 hours, workers worked 12 hours a day and were not paid overtime,” the employee alleged. The malaise has been brewing for a few months. Employees complained about poor working conditions and food at the facility, sources said.
On what triggered the violence, another employee said: “We received our wages on Friday and everyone started discussing it. We felt that we were forced to work more for less money. This generated resentment and when shifts changed, some workers lost their cool. There were reports of a verbal discussion between a human resources manager and a worker about wages and that caused other hired staff to rage. ”
Other sources said Wistron and a recruiting agency had differences over wages that led to the conflict. When the police were alerted, the workers had caused considerable damage. Sources said workers looted some shipments of smartphones and other electronic devices. The facility has been closed for a week until the audits are complete.