Enraged workers reportedly caused millions of dollars in damage at an Apple supplier’s factory in India where they protested poor labor conditions over the weekend.
Thousands of contract workers showed up at the iPhone factory run by Taiwan-based manufacturer Wistron to demand unpaid wages and better hours on Saturday.
The demonstration turned violent after police arrived, with workers smashing windows, vandalizing cars and setting at least one fire, according to videos from the scene.
Wistron alleged in a police report that the demonstrators stole laptops and smartphones, smashed cars and golf carts and destroyed other office equipment.
Indian police arrested more than 100 of the workers, who allege that they have gone four months without full pay while being forced to pull extra shifts, the BBC reported.
In a statement to Taiwan’s stock exchange, Wistron estimated that the protesters caused up to $7.1 million in damages at the site despite initially telling police that the price tag was as large as $60 million.
Workers set cars on fire outside the Wistron iphone factory in Bangalore, India on Saturday.Mediadrumimages/News Fiesta
It turned out that the factory’s warehouses and major production facilities had not been damaged as badly as local media had reported, the company said, adding that it was working to get the plant up and running again.
“The company has cooperated with the relevant authorities and the police investigation and continues to negotiate with the insurance company,” Wistron said.
The protest prompted Apple to launch its own probe of whether Wistron violated supplier guidelines at the factory on the outskirts of Bengaluru, India’s tech hub.
The Silicon Valley titan said Monday that it was dispatching staffers and auditors to the site while cooperating with the police investigation.
“We have teams on the ground and have immediately launched a detailed investigation at Wistron’s Narasapura facility,” the company told Reuters.
People exiting the gate of the Taiwanese-owned Wistron factory near Banagalore, India on Sunday.AFP via Getty Images
Despite the turmoil, Apple shares were up about 3 percent at $125.48 as of 11:03 a.m. Tuesday.
With Post wires