India: iPhone factory ransacked by angry workers

They revolted against their working conditions. Angry workers ransacked an iPhone factory in southern India. The riot took place on Saturday, December 12 in the suburbs of Bangalore in the factory of the Taiwanese group Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing, a subcontractor of Apple.

Footage shot on site shows smashed windows and overturned cars. CCTV cameras, lamps and fans were also broken and a car was set on fire. Local police told AFP on Sunday that the incidents had left no injuries. But around 100 people were arrested.

The plant employs around 15,000 people. The majority of them are hired by interim agencies, according to local media. They report that employees complained of not having been paid for four months and of having been forced to work overtime. A local union official denounced in the daily The Hindu “brutal exploitation” factory workers. “The state government has allowed the company to free itself from respect for fundamental rights” employees, he accuses.

For its part, the Wistron group assured AFP that “the incident was caused by unknown people coming from outside the factory they entered and caused damage, without knowing their intentions”. The group added in a statement written in Chinese that it had “committed to following local labor laws, and all other regulations in this area”.

Karnataka state deputy chief minister assured his government will ensure light is shed “without delay” on this case. “We will make sure that workers’ rights are protected and that monies owed are paid to them.”

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