Wistron RiotSource: @ajplus

What you need to know

  • An iPhone factory owned by Wistron in India was ransacked at the weekend following employee riots.
  • Wistron has downplayed how much damage the factory sustained, estimating it to be no more than $7 million.

A new report says that Wistron's losses at an India iPhone plant ransacked by employees are lower than previously thought.

As we reported Saturday, a violent riot broke out at an iPhone factory in Karnataka, some 60km from Bengaluru in the South of India. According to the report, night shift workers were drummed up into a frenzy over claims that many of them have received surprise pay cuts after previously being promised a certain salary. There were even reports that some employees had been paid a mere $7 for a month's work. By the time the night shift finished, employees had begun rioting, smashing factory equipment, glass, and overturning and burning cars.

On Monday it was reported that estimates put the damage at some 4.38B rupees, around $60 million. According to DigiTimes, Wistron has downplayed that figure:

Wistron, in response to reports claiming the riot at its India plant had resulted in damage totaling NT$1.6 billion (US$56.31 million), has maintained that the loss was actually only around NT$100-200 million.

Wistron is currently working on restoring the plant and calculating the exact amount of loss. It is supporting the local authorities' investigation into the incident and in talks with insurance companies over the damage.

That figure would put the damage at a maximum of around $7 million, a good chunk less than feared but substantial nonetheless.

Reports Monday further noted that Apple is investigating whether Wistron has broken Apple's supplier guidelines. From Reuters:

We have teams on the ground and have immediately launched a detailed investigation at Wistron's Narasapura facility," Apple said in an email, adding it was dedicated to ensuring everyone in its supply chain was treated with dignity and respect.

Apple said it was sending staff and auditors to the site and was cooperating with police in their investigation.