Indian iPhone factory attacked by angry workers

NEW DELHI: Angry Indian workers smashed windows and overturned cars at an iPhone factory factory and have been prosecuted several times by the government as an example of efforts to encourage manufacturers and attract companies to diversify away from China.

Indian television showed workers throwing stones, throwing furniture and setting fire to a sign in Wistron. Corpo.

Operation near Bangalore. Labor leaders say workers at a Taiwan-owned company that is a contract manufacturer for Apple Pal Inc.

Were upset about wages and working hours.

Joyce Chow, a spokesman for Wistron, said: “We are abiding by the law and supporting the authorities in their investigation.” He said the company was “panicked” by the unrest. An Apple Pal spokesperson in India declined to comment.

U.S. A spokesman for Apple Pal said it had launched an investigation into the Wistron facility and was on its way to India for personnel and help on the ground. “Paul is dedicated to making sure everyone in our supply chain is treated with respect and dignity,” he said.

General Secretary of All India Trade Union Congress M.D. Harigovind blamed the unrest, citing “conditions such as ruthless exploitation of workers and sweat shops” in the company by a senior Indian union official.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stepped up efforts to change the country’s image as a difficult place to do business by promising a more speculative and open regulatory regime, with the intention of diversifying away from China and luring industries seeking to influence the growth of Covid-1. , A simple corporate tax structure and incentives for targeted industries.

This year, India made it easier for certain types of companies to lay off workers as part of its efforts to control the economy and accelerate growth. It has also made it difficult for workers to unite and strike. At the same time, it expanded social security programs to accommodate many contract workers.

India has also relaxed the rules surrounding the trade in agricultural products, prompting farmers to protest. Thousands of people have camped around the capital, New Delhi, blocking traffic and demanding changes to some laws that farmers in some regions worry will weaken the safety net they depend on.

India is one of the largest phone markets in the world, so manufacturers are encouraged to stay close to their customers to avoid the cost of importing handsets and parts as well as tariffs.

Samsung Electronics Inc.

Is building one of its largest plants in the world near New Delhi. And Foxconn Technology Group G Group has grown from a few hundred employees in South India to more than 30,000 in recent years. More than 300 companies supplying parts to Foxconn have also installed the product.

Wistron’s plant, which has been making iPhones for a few years, was one of the first high-profile victories of the Modi government’s efforts and was often cited as evidence that it could make even some of India’s most organized phones.

“The unrest is unacceptable,” said Jagdish Shettar, Karnataka’s minister for large and medium-sized enterprises at the Wistron factory. He said the state government would protect the rights of companies as well as workers.

“Karnataka has always welcomed foreign investors and investments and provided them with a peaceful and friendly environment to do business,” he said. “We will take strict measures to prevent such unpleasantness from recurring.”

Praveen Rai, a political analyst at the New Delhi-based think tank Tank Tank’s Center for the Study of the Developing Society, said labor violence and protests in India have declined over the past 20 years. He said he did not expect what happened in Wistron to change the views of the country’s investors.

But, if labor unrest becomes widespread, he said, “this could affect the country’s reputation.”

Write to Vibhuti Agarwal at [email protected] and Eric Bellman at [email protected]

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