January 17, 2022

Wistron’s internal inquiry reveals lapses in salary payment

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Wistron, Apple’s contract manufacturer stated that some workers based in the Narasapur facility were not paid the wages at the right time or the amount was not proper. The company had initiated an internal inquiry regarding the unfortunate events and violence were incident in the previous week and it was discovered that there were lapses in the payment of remuneration to the workers, as per the high placed sources.

In an official statement, the Taiwan-origin company said, “This is a new facility and we recognise that we made mistakes as we expanded. Some of the processes we put in place to manage labour agencies and payments need to be strengthened and upgraded. We are taking immediate action to correct this, including disciplinary action.”

With the discrepancies in sight, the company took the immediate decision of evicting a senior official at the post of Vice-President who manages the Indian business. The company said, “We are also enhancing our processes and restructuring our teams to ensure these issues cannot happen again.”

The company in a statement emphasized on the aspects of safety and well-being for its workers as the top priority.

Earlier, on December 12, workers at the Narasapur broke into the factory and caused damages of Rs 50 crore. Their violence was triggered by the delay in payment of salaries and also the quoted amount by HR firms was not given.

Wistron stated, “Our top priority is to ensure all workers are fully compensated immediately and we are working hard to achieve that. We have established an employee assistance programme for workers at the facility. We also set up a 24-hour grievance hotline in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English to ensure all workers can voice any concerns they may have anonymously. We are deeply committed to our business and employees in India. We are working diligently on corrective actions to ensure this does not happen again.”

Presently, Wistron is having repair work and is planning to restart the full-fledged production at the earliest, according to sources.

The company spoke about the preliminary investigation and the violation of the Supplier Code of Conduct. “Apple employees and independent auditors hired by Apple have been working around the clock to investigate the issues which occurred at Wistron’s Narasapura facility. While these investigations are ongoing, our preliminary findings indicate violations of our Supplier Code of Conduct by failing to implement proper working hour management processes. This led to payment delays for some workers in October and November.”

In a statement, Apple stated, “As always, our focus is on making sure everyone in our supply chain is protected and treated with dignity and respect. We are very disappointed and taking immediate steps to address these issues. Wistron has taken disciplinary action and is restructuring their recruitment and payroll teams in Narasapura. They have also set up an employee assistance program and a 24-hour grievance hotline in in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, and English to ensure all workers at the facility can voice concerns, anonymously.

The statement further added, “Our main objective is to make sure all the workers are treated with dignity and respect, and fully compensated promptly.”

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