• Electronics maker Wistron Corp. is accused of violating labor laws in India
  • 2,000 workers at Wistron's Narasapura factory in India protested over unpaid wages
  • Apple has placed Wistron on probation

Apple has concluded a preliminary investigation into a shocking workers' riot at an iPhone plant in India operated by a major subcontractor in its foreign supply chain, Taiwan-based company Wistron Corporation.

Unpaid salaries were the main grievance of employees. Apple as a result has announced that it would actively track and not give new orders to Wistron until it shows that it can efficiently handle and pay for its increasingly expanding workforce.

Angry employees complaining about the non-payment of salaries had damaged equipment and iPhone models on Saturday at the Wistron factory, costing the company millions of dollars in damage and forced it to shut down the facility.

Apple is adding labels to its apps so that users can easily see and understand what those programs do with their data
Apple is adding labels to its apps so that users can easily see and understand what those programs do with their data AFP / Alastair Pike

Following the riot, an investigation of the plant revealed that "several labor law violations" had been committed, according to the labor department in the Karnataka State district of Kolar, where the factory is located.

The local labor office said that Wistron did not establish adequate employment and that the specifics of the hiring of its staff and employees who worked for 12-hour shifts at the Kolar plant were not compensated for overtime.

The company did not maintain the payroll and attendance records as mandated by law and the contract workers were dissatisfied with the non-payment of salaries for extended work hours, the office said, adding that Wistron did not apply such records on demand.

Three of Wistron's workforce providers Addeco India, Creative Engineers, and Quess were also named in the report for violating the recruiting limits approved under government regulations.

The investigation also showed that the glitch in the attendance machine or software had contributed to complaints from employees that they had not earned full pay.

"Wistron has taken disciplinary action and is restructuring their recruitment and payroll teams in Narasapura [India]. We have placed Wistron on probation, and they will not receive any new business from Apple before they complete corrective actions,” Apple said as per Bloomberg.

In the past, Apple and its manufacturers have been criticized for allowing poor working conditions in China. Last month, Apple suspended new business with Wistron's biggest competitor, Pegatron Corp., after finding labor violations in the student workers' scheme, taking proper steps to clean up the Chinese supply chain that has long been accused of worker harassment.