Thousands of stolen iPhones and millions of dollars in damage to one of Apple’s factories

Wistron, a Taiwanese manufacturer that produces under contract iPhone phones for the Indian market, has suffered huge damage and much of the production stolen by employees outraged by wage conditions.

The problems arose at the factory in Kolar, a less developed region of India, selected by the Taiwanese manufacturer precisely for the cheap labor. The protests broke out over the weekend, after the employer allegedly delayed the payment of salaries to employees. The labor dispute quickly degenerated into acts of violence, with groups of employees deciding to take revenge by destroying the production lines and other property owned by the factory. At the same time, thousands of iPhone phones were stolen from the company’s warehouses.

According to estimates released by Wistron, the amount of damage caused exceeds $ 59 million. The amount includes both damage to the factory, assembly lines and products stolen by employees.

According to official data released by Labor Minister Shrvram Hebbar, Wistron has hired six subcontractors to recruit about 8,800 employees at the Kolar plant. Although the partners used were paid for their work, Wistron began having conflicts with employees as early as three months ago, according to the government. The Minister of Labor condemned the violence, considering the company’s losses “unacceptable”.

Industry Minister Jagadish Shettar explains the acts of violence through miscommunication between the three parties involved: Wistron, subcontractors and employees. “What we hear is that Wistron made payments to subcontractors, the latter delaying payments to employees. This is verified. ”

Kolar police are investigating whether the violence was encouraged or planned as intentional acts of destruction of property.

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