Workers violent protest at Wistron’s iPhone plant causes loss of Rs 437 crore

The violence at Wistron’s iPhone assembling plant in Kolar caused loss worth Rs 437 crore, estimates made by the firm in its complaint to police and labour department said, according to Times of India.

The Taiwanese company in the Karnataka district was attacked by disgruntled employees in the early hours of Saturday, 12 December after over 1,000 employees gathered outside the plant demanding rightful pay and protested against the management for alleged non-payment of wages. The employees also accused the management of overworking the factory workers and violating norms under the Factories Act.


The employees reportedly pelted stones at the building and set two company vehicles on fire after failed talks with the management. The Narsapura Police were called in and they resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the workers. They allegedly damaged the building, damaged vehicles, set them on fire, damaged costly equipment including machines and computers. Infrastructure worth ₹10 crore, ₹60 lakh worth cars and golf carts, smartphones, and other gadgets worth ₹1.5 crore were among those which suffered the damage, the company mentioned.

An FIR has been registered at the Narsapura police station under various sections and the police have so far arrested 149 people and detained a few others.

The Karnataka government on Saturday said that it will provide security to the plant.
“The incident at the Wistron plant is unfortunate and unacceptable. The Government is committed to conducting a full and fair investigation into the incident and punish the wrongdoers…The problem could have been resolved if it had been adequately addressed as per law,” Minister for Major and Medium Industries Jagadish Shettar said.

Meanwhile, the managing director of Wistron India, Sudipto Gupta said in a statement the company was in a state of deep shock by the events at its Narasapura facility.

“We follow the law and are supporting the authorities with their investigation. The safety and wellbeing of our team members are always our top priority,” Gupta said in a statement to the media.

The Karnataka government has not only condemned the incident but also assured security and stringent action against people involved in the arson and violence.

Political parties in Karnataka on Sunday sought a thorough probe into the violence at Wistron’s manufacturing plant as they expressed concerns about its possible impact on the investment-friendly image of the state.