‘Serious injustice, exploitation triggered violence’


All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) on Monday said their study into the unrest among employees at Wistron and the ransacking that followed were the result of “serious injustice and exploitation” employees suffered at work.

Wistron is a multinational corporation from Taiwan that assembles iPhones at its factory at Narasapura Industrial Estate in Kolar district

AICCTU, in its fact-finding report, states that about 10,000 of Wistron’s employees are contract workers. Their job interviews were done by Wistron officials and they report to executives of the company. However, their job letters say they are being appointed by certain contractors, and half a dozen contractors are involved with Wistron, the report added.

“Clearly, these contractors are mere name-lenders and Wistron is following an unfair labour practice to deny workers their rights as regular/permanent workers,” alleged the trade union.

AICCTU said its office bearers visited Narasapura, met the workers to understand what led to the protest and ransacking of the company premises.

“The workers were understandably in fear to speak up for their rights. Each worker is compelled to do a 12-hour shift every day and has no say in the matter. They kept demanding their salaries and overtime wages that were due, but officials never heard their plea,” the report said.

According to the trade body, these contract workers consist of three broad categories – migrant workers from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and other States; migrant workers from other districts of Karnataka, and workers from various villages in the taluks around Narasapura. Workers are now getting messages from the employer directing them not to report for duty until further communication, the trade body said.

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“Now they are worried about their jobs, and uncertain about their pending salaries and wages. The State government has to intervene and solve labour woes, especially when the majority of them are from an economically poor background and Dalits,” demanded the trade body.

Meanwhile, tech giant Apple has said that it is undertaking a detailed investigation following the violence in the Wistron unit.

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Sagar Biswas

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