Wistron factory vandalism – labour dispute or plot to cripple electronics manufacturing in Bharat?

Wistron Infocomm’s factory near Bengaluru was vandalized by its workers allegedly over non-payment of wages. Reports state that over 100 workers went on a rampage at the Wistron facility smashing CCTV cameras and glass panels besides setting a car alight within the factory premises. The incident is said to have taken place on Saturday when the night shift workers were leaving the facility.

Wistron is a Taiwanese company that manufactures iPhones for Apple. It has issued a statement saying that Wistron abides by local labor laws and that the violence at the company’s Narsapura facility in Kolar district was caused by unknown outsiders whose motives are not clear just yet. In the meanwhile, Wistron initially estimated damage of INR 437 crores at its plant, but later reduced the damage estimate to around INR 50 crores as major production facilities and warehouses had not suffered as serious damage as initially thought. Thousands of iPhones are believed to have been stolen.

In a letter to Karnataka government, Wistron management said that although it was distressed by the violence, it was committed to ‘Manufacture in India’ and would expand its presence across Bharat. Karnataka Deputy Chief minister CN Ashwathnarayan stated that the government would not tolerate such wanton violence and that it is committed to amicably solving any issues of the workers.

However, the entire sequence of events reeks of conspiracy despite the claims of labor exploitation by trade unions. Observers believe that this could be a sabotage attempt considering the fact that vandalism occurred exactly a day after a high-ranking Taiwan government representative, Ben Wang, met Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa to discuss a proposal about many Taiwanese companies which are keen on investing in the state.

Many have also pointed out a larger conspiracy at work where certain elements (read leftists) within Bharat seem to be colluding with foreign powers only because the current dispensation is their political rival. Labor Commissioner Akram Pasha confirmed that salaries were paid regularly and their inspection revealed that there had been a delay of only four days in the distribution of wages. There are reports that a software bug deducted 2 days salary of last month, but that too was later paid to workers.

With the government authority confirming the payment of wages, the rampage by workers of the factory appears to be a pre-planned and deliberate act of vandalism to force Wistron to put its expansion plans on hold. Reports also indicate that none of the workers of Wistron approached the Karnataka labor minister with complaints regarding non-payment of wages.

There is also some speculation that disputes amongst two groups of employees – contract and permanent labourers who manned the 1st and 2nd shifts – might be the real cause behind the vandalism.

#BreakingIndia forces trying to damage ‘Make in India’?

All of this shows that sabotage cannot be ruled out and anti-Bharat forces seem to be at play here just like they were in neighboring Tamil Nadu where Vedanta was forced to shut shop owing to the missionary-leftist-NGO instigated labor strike and environmental activism.

The Sterlite protests were instigated by both Christian missionaries as well as the left. The leftists and ultra-leftists have almost always fuelled violent protests to destabilize the nation. The recent farmers’ protests are a case in point where ultra-leftists have colluded with Khalistani elements using the fig leaf of farmers’ rights to make calls for violence in the name of protests.

Some opine that foreign interference in collusion with communists, labor unions, and the Chinese communist party (CCP) cannot be ruled out. The location of Kolar with proximity to ‘sensitive’ towns in TN like Ambur is another factor which cannot be dismissed. The true picture will only emerge after a full investigation and questioning of the 156 people who have been arrested for the violence.

It must be pointed out here that the Chinese state media and its US affiliates were quick to latch on to the story to point out the ‘risks and challenges’ for manufacturers intending to move their factories out of ‘a stable labour market’ like China to Bharat.

With the Chinese jumping right on cue the possibility of the rival nation using enemies of the current dispensation, namely the leftists who have always shown that their loyalties always lie with fellow communist countries rather than Bharat, cannot be ruled out. A recent data leak showed that over 2 million Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spies have been planted in major corporates, organizations and government agencies across the world.

Conclusion

Not just the timing, but the targeting of the iPhone facility which has moved its manufacturing to Bharat from China is highly suspect. It is essential that the government takes strict and swift action against the perpetrators to prevent another Wistron like incident that will have a huge impact on future investments in Bharat by manufacturers.

(Featured Image Source: BBC)


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