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Wistron Saga : The labour laws violation and the Chinese trap

  • Adrija Ray Chaudhury | Team PresentMirror | Updated: Dec. 26, 2020, 10:55 a.m.

The iPhone manufacturing plant, run by Taiwan-based tech giant Wistron Corporation at Narsapura (around 60 km from Bengaluru in Karnataka) came under attack from its employees over payment of salaries recently. This was after many Chinese companies have started moving out of China. The event may be repetition of Sterlite 2.0, benefitting none other than the cunning Chinese dragon couching under the communist jackal.


A majority of the nearly 2,000 employees, who were exiting the facility after completing their night-shift, went on a rampage destroying the company’s furniture, assembly units and even attempted to set fire to vehicles. It is known to all that the COVID-19 situation has created an economic backdrop worldwide and it's really hard to survive during this crisis suffering pay cuts and reduced salaries. Nevertheless, violence is hardly the solution as it can result in the facility being shut down resulting in further crunches.


Image Credits: Times of India

Although the picture appears clear on the outward, we are yet to seek the loose ends-for instance the Chinese driven left instigation and the company’s own fault.

Karnataka's Department of Factories, Boilers, Industrial Safety and Health found in their primary investigation that Wistron had been exploiting its workers and Wistron's Human Resources department had poor knowledge of labor regulations in India. Apple meanwhile has said that they will resume new orders with Wistron only if the company takes corrective actions .

Communist affiliated trade union justifies violence

Needless to say, having their demands fulfilled through savagery and vehemence is an integral part of Communist propaganda, the utter and unnecessary implementation of the same in the present day may bid good-byes to foreign industries investing in India. Time has changed and so has the mindset of employers and employees. We have been living on a trajectory of increased mutual understanding and reduced violence for the past few decades, and the laws of offices stand altered now.


Police arrests Kolar's SFI taluk president, Shrikanth for vandalism; Image Credits: The News Minute

The Wistron incident has been condemned by senior leaders in the Karnataka government, with the Deputy Chief Minister C Ashwathnarayan assuring that strict action will be taken against the perpetrators and ensuring that the government will do the needful to resolve the matter expeditiously and dispel the concerns of all stakeholders involved in the dispute. On the other side of the coin, Communist-affiliated trade union has been in support of the violence.

Violent form of protests being a trade-off

Last month, the Toyota Kirloskar Motors facility at Bidadi had declared a set down in its factory after the continued strike by union members. The Bidadi facility has two production plants with a total installed capacity of 3.10 lakh units per annum. The TKM management cited ‘breach of discipline and unacceptable behaviour’ by some employee union members and declared a shutdown.


TKM restarting operations; Image Credits: Business Line

However, the company will resume operations with a section of supervisory and other staff, amid a continuing strike by a significant number of workers following differences with the management. “As on 3 December, the company would like to confirm the resumption of production involving supervisory and other staff and workmen who have signed the undertaking despite the continuation of the illegal strike by a group of workers," Toyota said in a statement.

Chinese propagandist uses Wistron incident to threaten other companies moving from China to India


Image Credits: opIndia

Days after employees and Communist-affiliated trade unions vandalised the Apple’s contract manufacturer Wistron India’s plant in Kolar, Karnataka, fingers are being pointed towards China over its alleged involvement in creating trouble against firms that are shifting business out of the country.

The propagandist of China’s Communist Party, subtly threatened the other partners of Apple Inc such as Foxconn. Passing sly insinuations, she asked whether these companies now regret about moving their production facilities to India. Chen basically hinted that companies that move their production lines out of China may face such vandalism and loss to business. Chen’s tweet hinted at China’s role in causing such deliberate disturbances inside India to disturb the prevailing stability and investment climate in the country.

We want to ask Chinese tabloid and Chen to may be look into their own backyard and own people.

China losing out on business as Samsung decides to shift production lines

The bustling city of Huizhou turned a "ghost town" after Samsung closed its last smartphone factory in China, according to a report from the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. This came after Apple’s major partners, Foxocnn, Pegatron and Wistron set up their factories in India and dumped China.

Samsung relocated production to Vietnam and India in large part as a response to the trade war between the world's two largest economies, it said, adding that the industry insiders consider that it reflected China's changing position in the global supply chain.

Last year Samsung inaugurated its world's largest mobile factory in Noida, near the Indian capital. The new facility will enable Samsung to double its capacity for mobile phones in Noida from 68 million units a year to 120 million units a year, in a phase-wise expansion to be completed by 2020.

This might be the latest modus operandi of Chinese influencers to tap into the brain functions of dissatisfied employees, making them appear scourged and oppressed workers, titillating union workers into vandalism and then citing the same as a cause for foreign companies to roll back their plans on investing in India. After all, it's a bang between the two Asian superpowers and China is just not ready to lose an inch.

Chinese attempts to sabotage Indian manufacturing is not the first. This is repeat of the Sterlite incident. Sterlite was shut down in India, while Chinese copper mining site “Reko Diq Project” in Balochistan, business has soared as their major competitor is out. The prices of copper in India has increased as China has now become the largest supplier. 1200 plus manufacturing companies in Noida are shut due to Farmer protests. Almost 40 percent of their productivity has gone down. Who is getting direct benefits of all such events? The cunning chinese dragon couching on the communist jackal.

Getting back to work

Nevertheless, good news is on the way. The Wistron plant in Karnataka will be operational again in 15-20 days, as per State Labour Minister, A S Hebbar. “This could have been done to throw a spanner in the works, slowing the Make-In-India initiative. Some entities not interested in India gaining momentum in electronics manufacturing could have been the catalyst,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman, Technopak Advisors.

In another development Optiemus Infracom has decided to buy 19.91% stake in Optiemus Electronics from Wistron. The company is looking to open a new plant in Noida for mobile manufacturing. This will help the business of the Taiwan-headquartered company to remain unaffected of the vandalism losses in India. Meanwhile, Wistron, which had earlier pegged the losses owing to the violent attacks at Rs 437 crore in a first information report, later notified the Taiwan Stock Exchange that the total losses were around Rs 50 crore.

Whether or not, this was a planned attempt to defame India on the world stage, the result has been all the same. This sort of ruckus and onslaught is never desired. Salary, if delayed, might have been paid in a staggered period but now, the company will have to repair the damages causing a further hinch in production and easy flow of money. All in all, once again the license raj and Foreign companies are not going together, a reform is expected in this regard to avoid such incidents in future.

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