On 12 December, unrest broke out at Wistron’s iPhone factory in the Indian city of Narsapura, after thousands of employees complained about what they felt to be unreasonable working conditions and low wages.
The riot resulted in estimated property damage totalling $7m, or £5m. You can see what it looked like in the following Twitter post from TOI Bengaluru:
Authorities in the state of Karnataka have since investigated the incident and appear to have concluded that the employees had a point: “Exploitative practices such as underpayment of wages, irregular hours and poor working conditions were common,” reports the
South China Morning Post. Legal experts believe that
Apple is ultimately responsible and may be required to take part in further investigations.
It will be a while before the factory in question can be reopened, but the hope is that it will not lead to an iPhone shortage. (Update: since we wrote this story, Apple has agreed to reopen the factory and
recommence production. It says the owner “remains on probation”, however.)
The company has been the subject of some discussion this year about the working practices in its enormous supply chain. In November Apple
suspended new business with Pegatron over labour violations, and earlier this month three former members of the company’s Supplier Responsibility team accused it of being
complicit in labour law violations.
This article originally appeared on
Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.