Wistron to restart operations, says Apple

Nearly eight weeks after it was shut down due to labour unrest, Apple assembler Wistron is set to reopen its Narasapura plant. 

Apple today said Wistron has begun the process of restarting operations and it (Apple) was working with the Taiwanese firm to ensure that all necessary systems were in place.

"For the past eight weeks, teams across Apple, along with independent auditors, have been working with Wistron to make sure the necessary systems and processes are in place at their Narasapura facility," Apple in a statement said.

"Wistron remains on probation and we will monitor their progress closely," Apple, however, added.

Today's development comes on the back of the efforts taken last week by Karnataka government officials in holding talks with Wistron and its six staffing firms.

Wistron plant may reopen next week

Earlier in the day, sources in Wistron and Karnataka government had suggested that it could resume operations as early as next week. 

"Wistron reconstruction is nearing completion and iPhone production will very likely begin next week," the sources were quoted as saying.

It may be recalled that the Wistron plant in Narasapura, 60 kms off Bengaluru, was shut after contract workers angry over unpaid wages destroyed property, equipment and iPhones on the night of December 12, causing heavy losses to the Taiwanese company.

Apple, having found lapses in the payment of worker salaries, had suspended all new business to Wistron India until it rectified the faults.

Wistron, which assembled the second-generation iPhone SE at the site and was expected to start making newer models, would gradually ramp up production at the factory over the next few weeks.

New systems in place: Wistron

A Reuters report quoted Wistron as saying: "We are looking forward to restarting our operations and welcoming back team members and we thank them for their patience and support as we worked through corrective actions."

The labour issues now seem sorted out. Karnataka government had last week held talks with the six staffing companies --- Quess, Randstad, Adecco, Needs, Innov Source and Creative Engineers --- and sought to know whether their misgivings had been assuaged by Wistron. 

The staffing firms, for their part, seemed satisfied. "We have sorted out the problem in a calm way and thankfully there was no legal action against Quess. It's behind us now," said Suraj Moraje, CEO of Quess Corp, one of the staffing firms. There is now a clear understanding of how to work going forward, he added.

Wistron has said it had paid all its workers and brought in new hiring and payroll systems.

Going forward, Wistron will have enhanced training programmes for all workers. It has also put in a place a new system for workers to get information and raise any concerns they may have, anonymously.

Wistron has another plant in Peenya in Karnataka.

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