Riot-hit iPhone factory resumes operations in India

Wistron (Image credit: Wistron)

What you need to know

  • Production has resumed at a Wistron iPhone factory in India.
  • The plant closed for almost three months following a riot in December.
  • Apple has placed the firm on probation whilst it addresses issues over unpaid wages that caused the disturbance.

An iPhone factory in India that was the scene of a riot on December 12 has resumed operations after a nearly three-month hiatus.

As The Economic Times reports:

Apple contract manufacturer Wistron has resumed operations at its Narasapura facility at Kolar. Taiwanese electronics giant Wistron, which makes iPhones for Apple Inc, has resumed manufacturing activities at its facility in Karnataka's Kolar district with a limited workforce of about 6,000 people.

As noted, only half of the plant's 12,000 employees have gone back to work, with the companying opting for a "low-profile restart." The report says Wistron will gradually scale up its workforce "only after thoroughly checking the background of applicants before taking them on board."

India is a base for manufacturing the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE, although recent reports indicate the iPhone 12, one of the best iPhones of recent years, may also soon enter production there.

Industries minister for the state Jagadish Shettar visited the plant Wednesday along with the chief industries secretary and industries commissioner, telling workers to reach out to authorities if they had issues. The minister further noted that the violence that erupted on December 12 had impacted the livelihoods of thousands of workers. It seems some workers may have expressed disappointment in the actions of their colleagues, the report stating:

Some workers told the minister that thousands of them had to face problems due to the act of a small group of workers.

Chief secretary Gaurav Gupta told ET the company had put in place "a number of systems" to ensure the incident did not repeat itself, and that department officials had been told to visit the facility frequently.

In response to the riot in December, Apple confirmed that it had found violations of its Supplier Code of Conduct, with employee pay delayed in October and November. Apple put Wistron on probation, meaning the firm cannot receive any new business from Apple until the issues are put right.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9