Apple supplier Wistron said Tuesday that it is currently looking to restart iPhone production at its factory in Karnataka, India. The factory was shuttered at the end of 2020 after riots broke out.
However, Apple notes that the company is still on probation — and that it will be keeping a close eye on it going forwards.
The rioting took place in December at a factory which produces iPhones. Police arrested around 150 people during, and in the aftermath, of the riots. According to reports, the riots were the result of unpaid wages and other exploitation. Protestors broke windows at the factory on the outskirts of Bangalore, pulled down CCTV cameras, and flipped cars onto their sides. They also stole thousands of iPhones.
The total damages amounted to around $7 million. An audit by Apple found violations of the company’s Supplier Code of Conduct at the plant. As a result, it put Wistron on probation.
1/4 #Violence at @Apple #iPhone production plant run by Taiwan-based #Wistron Corp at Narasapura near #Bengaluru in India
Nearly 2,000 employees, alleged not been paid, went on a rampage destroying the company’s furniture, assembly units and even attempted to set fire to vehicles pic.twitter.com/qtlHyJiRAh
— Crisbin Joseph Mathew (@CrisbinJoseph) December 12, 2020
Wistron said that it working to fix issues at the plant and improve standards. “As Wistron begins the process of hiring team members and restarting their operations, everyone at the facility will undergo a new training program to ensure they understand their rights and how they can raise any concerns,” Apple told Reuters. It also commented that it will track progress over time.
Apple began manufacturing iPhones in India in 2017. This started with the iPhone SE, then expanded to other models. Wistron was the first Apple manufacturer to set up an iPhone plant in the country. This is part of an Apple initiative to move manufacturing beyond China.
According to today’s report, production at the factory will ramp up over the coming weeks.