The iPhone manufacturing plant, run by Taiwan-based tech giant Wistron Corp had received 43 acres of land in the Narasapura Industrial Area in Karnataka from the state government for a proposal to invest Rs 2900 crores and provide employment to about 10000 people. It currently has a workforce strength of 8000 with about 90% being contractual employees instead of the promised regular employment.
For the contractual employees, since the last 8 to 10 weeks, there were delays in payments of salaries and arbitrary changes were made to their employment contracts. The promised salary was slashed from Rs 16000 to Rs 12000 and the workday shift was increased from 8 hours to 12 hours. This is an illegal change as per the Industrial Disputes but the complaints made to the management resulted in arbitrary and illegal firing of workers.
These actions by the Wistron management which were not just infuriating for the employees but illegal as per the labour laws ultimately resulted in an unorganised violent retaliation by the employees. The destruction of property by the employees was triggered by the illegal practices of the Wistron management and lack of a formal union of the workers to form an organised resistance against the company. As per reports, 60-70 workers have been arrested and badly beaten.
AIITEU demands an enquiry into the malpractices of Wistron Corp, to address the issues of the employees, instead of demonising and brutalising them for the situation brought upon by illegal actions of the company.