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 On December 12 2020, an Apple manufacturing unit in Bengaluru get damaged by its own workers. Those workers were several thousand in number. This iPhone manufacturing plant is run by a Taiwan based tech giant Wistron corporation at Bengaluru. Right after the incident, the company estimated a loss of about Rs 400 crore. But after detailed analysis, it was found that no manufacturing equipment has been damaged and the actual loss is about Rs.52 crore.

Some of the most important Apple accessories manufacturing units are-

  • Foxconn, Wistron, Pegatron (Taiwan based firms)
  • Goertek, Luxshare (China based firm)
  • Qualcomm, Intel (USA based firm)

In this incident, workers of Wistron full of anger smashed a very large area of the unit and several expensive cars have been damaged.

But what makes these workers this much angry?

Following are the detailed analysis and learnings of this, the Wistron incident-

  • During the probe over 150 people were arrested.
  • Since this incident can hit the foreign investors' sentiments distressingly, it can result in a declination of foreign investments in India. Therefore, the Karnataka state government is asked by many organisation encouraging entrepreneurship to investigate this incident firmly.
  • In the investigation, it was found that the unit earlier had a total strength of workers 5000 but recently it was increased to 10500 and the unit gets failed to manage them.
  • Labours were not getting their promised wages. Further, there was a drastic decrease in the salary of the workers from 15000-21000 to 8000-11000 per month.
  • The HR department has not been in sound knowledge of labour laws of India. This results in a sudden hike in the working hours in the unit from 8 hours per day to 12 hours per day.
  • There were some glitches in the attendance system.

Some important labour laws in India are-

Article 14
Equality before the law which is interpreted in labour laws as "Equal pay for equal work". It doesn't mean that article 1 is absolute. There are a few exceptions in it regarding labour laws such as physical ability, unskilled and skilled labours shall receive payment according to their merit.

Article 19 (1) (C)
The constitution guarantees citizens to form a union or association. The Trade Union Act, 1926 works through this Article of the Constitution. It allows workers to form trade unions.

The PAYMENT OF WAGES ACT 1936 requires that employees receive wages, on time, and without any unauthorised deductions. 

As per the Factories Act 1948, every adult (a person who has completed 18 years of age0 cannot work for more than 48 hours in a week and not more than 9 hours in a day. According to Section 51 of the Act, the spread over should not exceed 10-1/2 hours.

Things to learn from this incident-

Labour is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labour, and could never have existed if labour had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
-Abraham Lincoln

All wealth is the product of labor.
-John Locke

  • Labours are the fuel for an industry or a firm. Without labours, an industry can't progress. Even for making machines and automobiles, labour is required there too.
  • In the expansion of the firm, every entrepreneur should deeply analyse the labour rights and laws of the local area and implement it effectively in the process of the expansion. Any violation in this step can result in many difficulties and sometimes end in the current Wistron like incident.

  • There should a separate help desk for labours and workers in which they can file their complaints and get answers of their every greviences. 
  • It is very possible that if there was a similar kind of separate window for grievance redressal then such incident could not have happened. 
  • One of the most important factors behind the great production of a firm is the management of its workers. In this case, Wistron had suddenly increased the number of its workers but get failed to manage them. Hence before hiring contract or permanent workers, an entrepreneur should develop its methods and equipment of their management including their daily attendence.
  • Apart from this, the state government should make strict labour laws and encourage firms to follow them.

Wistron is in its recovery mode. In addition to this 

Apple said it has placed Wistron on probation and the company will not receive any new business from it before they complete corrective actions.
Wistron too had sacked its vice president overseeing its business in India, as it admitted that some workers were not paid correctly or on time, and offered an apology.

After all this government should take corrective measures to ensure that such incident should not repeat, ethically. This kind of incident harms image of Make-in-India initiative as foreign investors have a lot of options along with India for their investments.

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