Apple Partner Wistron to Restart Riot-Hit iPhone Factory in India
Wistron facility in Narasapura in Karnataka’s Kolar district. (Photo: Ashwini YS for BloombergQuint)

Apple Partner Wistron to Restart Riot-Hit iPhone Factory in India

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Apple Inc.’s manufacturing partner Wistron Corp. will hire workers and restart operations in its Narasapura factory outside Bangalore after a violent protest shut the iPhone-manufacturing facility last December.

Apple’s teams and independent auditors have been working with Wistron over the past eight weeks to put the necessary systems and processes in place, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. However, the Taiwanese contractor will continue to face scrutiny.

“A comprehensive set of corrective actions has now been completed and Wistron has restructured their recruiting team and enhanced training and support for workers,” Apple said in the statement. “Wistron remains on probation and we will monitor their progress closely.”

Apple had suspended new orders to Wistron in December after workers who had been hired on monthly pay of about $200 stormed the factory and rioted over unpaid salaries, destroying furniture and equipment leading to losses worth millions of dollars. The incident underscored the challenges to Apple as the world’s most valuable company seeks to expand its India business while diversifying its supply chain beyond China.

All workers in the facility will undergo a new training program to ensure they understand their rights and how to raise concerns, Apple said in the statement. Its representatives will remain on site to validate that the new processes are effective.

Wistron didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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