In another employee standoff at a multinational conglomerate in Karnataka, violence broke out at Taiwanese technology giant Wistron Corporation’s Narsapura plant in Kolar district of the state near Bengaluru, which manufactures Apple iPhones apart from other IoT products.
The employees who alleged salary deductions and untimely payments damaged factory property including vehicles of officials parked at the premises. Thousands of employees were seen shattering window panes, furniture, and CCTV cameras at the campus. About 100 workers were detained on Saturday following the incident.
“This issue has lingered for over four months now. Initially, there were three shifts which were converted to two shifts with 12 hours duty and four hours overtime. While the company is not paying salaries for overtime, it has reduced the promised salaries to employees,” alleged Krishna Siddi, All India Trade Union Congress member. For the past four months the employees were raising concerns about salary deductions but in vain, he said.
The company has not yet responded to the incident. The Karnataka government condemned the violence but also assured clearance of payment dues to employees.
“Our government will do the needful to ensure that the situation is resolved expeditiously and all stakeholders and their concerns are allayed. Strict action will be taken under the law against the errant elements,” said Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C Ashwathnarayan.
According to Siddi, the plant employs around 15,000 people of which only 1,200 are permanent employees and the rest are on contractual payrolls. He said AITUC will be raising a complaint against the management to the labour secretary in the state.
The third-party iPhone manufacturer had recently announced an additional investment of ₹1,265 crore in Karnataka to increase manufacturing capacity. The company also has plans to increase its headcount to 10,000 at the plant.
Last month, carmaker Toyota Kirloskar Motor had to shut down its Bidadi plant in the state after around 1,200 employees went on strike over the suspension of a staff member who is a workers’ Union member. The standoff still continues as the issue has still not been resolved.