Apple puts Wistron on probation; won’t conduct further business until the supplier corrects mistakes

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Apple has said that it will halt further business with its supplier Wistron until it addresses the labor law violations that caused outrage amongst disgruntled employees that vandalized Wistron’s offices on December 12, according to Reuters.

The Cupertino-based company had sent a team of auditors to assess the situation over at Narsapura, about 50 KMs away from Bengaluru, India where the plant is located. According to the results of a preliminary audit, Wistron was found guilty of violating Apple’s “Suppliers Code of Conduct.”

Particularly, Apple said that Wistron failed to implement appropriate working conditions and management processes, leading to a delay in workers’ payments.

“Our main objective is to make sure all the workers are treated with dignity and respect, and fully compensated promptly,” Apple said in a statement to Reuters.

“This is a new facility and we recognize that we made mistakes as we expanded. Some of the processes we put in place to manage labor agencies and payments need to be strengthened and upgraded,” according to Wistron. As a result, Wistron is firing one of its top executives overseeing the Taiwan-based manufacturer’s business in India.

A mob of angry protesters vandalized Wistron’s offices in Narsapura, Karnataka when the supplier failed to pay workers’ wages on time. The rioters caused damage worth $7 Million, with $59 Million worth of losses caused initially due to items being stolen and damaged including iPhones, furniture, vehicles, and more.

Local police arrested more than 150 people relating to the riots with investigation still ongoing.

Wistron has been producing iPhones for Apple in the country since 2017. It had been mainly producing iPhone 7 and iPhone SE units. The supplier had plans to begin production of another iPhone model by hiring up to 20,000 workers in a year’s time. However, it’s unclear now if that will ever happen, given the circumstances alongside Apple’s probation.