Labour Department constitutes team to probe Wistron violence


The Department of Labour has issued an advisory to Wistron Corporation following a violent protest by contract workers alleging non-payment of wages.

Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar told The Hindu that following the incident on December 12, a meeting was held with company representatives and the Labour Department on December 14. Apart from non-payment of wages, workers also alleged that they were made to work 12-hour shifts but were yet to get paid overtime.

“We have constituted a team to look into the allegations of long work hours, delay in payment and disparity in payments. We believe that a ‘small communication gap’ led to this incident and vandalism,” said Mr. Hebbar.

He added that it had been found that Wistron had sub-contracted to six different companies. The factory, which began operations around four months ago, did not have a labour union. “We are yet to ascertain if permission had been obtained for posting women in night shifts,” he added.

Mr. Hebbar said the aggrieved workers had not intimated the department about their problems. “Workers could have sent a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner or the labour official in Kolar district. We support the labourers. However, they should not have taken the law into their own hands,” he pointed out.

He urged workers and labourers in the State to contact the department if they were facing problems with their employers.

So far, the police have identified 158 people who allegedly participated in the protests, and efforts are on to identify others involved in the violence. “All the accused said they were angry because of irregular pay and harassment by their seniors. The Labour Department is conducting a probe into this,” police officers said.

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Sagar Biswas

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