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iPhone maker loses `437 cr

A large number of employees allegedly carried out arson, loot and violence at Wistron's Narasapura manufacturing plant in Kolar district over some wage-related issues on Saturday

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Wistron, which makes iPhones for Apple, has expressed shock over the attack

Bengaluru/New Delhi: Wistron Corporation, a contract manufacturer for Apple Inc, has suffered losses worth over Rs 437 crore due to violence perpetrated by a section of workers over salary issues at its manufacturing plant in Karnataka.

A large number of employees allegedly carried out arson, loot and violence at Wistron's Narasapura manufacturing plant in Kolar district over some wage-related issues on Saturday, police had said.

They damaged the building, damaged vehicles, set them on fire, damaged costly equipment including machines and computers. The company, which on Monday expressed deep shock over the incident, has already filed a complaint at the Vemagal police station. In the complaint, the company's executive T D Prashanth has stated that office equipment, mobile phones, production machinery and related equipment worth Rs 412.5 crore were lost.

Among others, infrastructure worth Rs 10 crore, Rs 60 lakh worth cars and golf carts, smartphones and other gadgets worth Rs 1.5 crore suffered damage, were stolen or lost. According to the complaint, 5,000 contract labourers and about 2,000 unknown culprits carried out the vandalism at the facility. The police have so far arrested 149 people and detained a few others.

"We are deeply shocked by events at our Narasapura facility. We follow the law and are supporting the authorities with their investigation. The safety and well being of our team members is always our top priority," Wistron Smart Devices, innovation business group, Managing Director Sudipto Gupta said in a statement.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan had condemned the incident and said stringent action would be taken against the perpetrators.

Political parties in Karnataka have sought a thorough probe into the violence at the plant as they expressed concerns about its possible impact on the investment-friendly image of the state. Besides Apple iPhone, Taiwan-headquartered Wistron manufactures IT products for Lenovo and Microsoft. Wistron is also one of the 16 entities that have received approval for incentive under the central government's Production Linked Incentive (PLI) plan. (PTI)

Apple says it's investigating

Apple Inc said it is investigating if its Taiwanese contractor Wistron Corp flouted supplier guidelines at a violence-hit iPhone manufacturing facility near Bengaluru, following violence at the plant.

Wistron is one of Apple's top global suppliers. In India, it makes iPhone 7 handsets and second-generation iPhone SE devices.

Apple said it was dispatching additional staff and auditors to the facility. "Our teams are in close touch with the local authorities and we're offering our full support to their investigation," the tech giant said in a statement.

Apple demands its suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, act fairly and ethically, and use environmentally responsible practices wherever they make products or perform services for the company.

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