Around 100 people were arrested after an iPhone factory was ransacked on the outskirts of Bangalore in southern India on Saturday. Angry workers claimed they had not been paid for four months and had been forced to work overtime for the Taiwanese group Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing.
Footage shot on the spot showed smashed windows and overturned cars. CCTV cameras, lamps and fans were also smashed and a car was set on fire.
The authorities and the company react
“The situation is now under control. Special teams have been set up to investigate this incident, ”local police said on Sunday, adding that no injuries were to be deplored. The Deputy Chief Minister of the State of Karnataka, CN Ashwathnarayan, denounced acts of gratuitous violence and added that his government would ensure that light is shed “without delay” on the matter. “We will make sure that workers’ rights are protected and that the amounts owed are paid to them. “
For its part, the Wistron group indicated that “the incident was caused by unknown persons coming from outside the factory into which they entered and caused damage, without knowing their intentions” . The group added that it had “pledged to follow local labor laws, and all other labor regulations,” in a statement written in Chinese.
A factory employing 15,000 people
A local union official denounced the “brutal exploitation” of the factory workers. “The state government has allowed the company to free itself from respect for the fundamental rights” of employees, he declared daily The Hindu.
The plant employs around 15,000 people, but the majority of them are hired by interim agencies, according to local media.