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Bengaluru, NFAPost: The Taiwanese iPhone component manufacturing company Wistorn made it clear that the company is giving top priority for the safety and wellbeing of its team members.

The statement issued on Sunday by Wistrone India Managing Director Sudipto Gupta on the Saturday violence at its production facility at Narasapura Industrial Area in Kolar District close to Bengaluru assumes significance as the company is trying to resume the work soon at the facility.

“We are deeply shocked by the events at our Narasapura facility. We follow the law and are supporting the authorities with their investigation. The safety and wellbeing of our team members are always our top priority,” said Sudipto Gupta in statement on Sunday.

Wistron has invested around Rs 2,000 crore at the Kolar facility to manufacture mobile phone components for various companies, primariliy iPhone production. According to government sources, the investment was made to expand the prdocution capacity from 20,000 handsets to 40,000 handsets.

The tragic labour unrest is happening at a time Wistron is going ahead with its plan to ramp up production capacity for domestic and international market. According to analyst, Wistron provides employment to around 20,000 employees directly and indirectly at the Kolar plant.

In a recent interaction with Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan Wistron evinced its interest to set up a research and development centre in Bengaluru and also ramp up its investment to around Rs 4000 core. The Karnataka government already offered land at the Aerospace Park for the facility. Wistron already operates a manufacturing facility at Peenya industrial area in Bengaluru.

The incident occurred just a day after Ben Wang, the director-general of Taipei economic and cultural centre (Chennai) met Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in Bengaluru. Also, the Taiwan government-owned Century Development Corporation is going ahead with its industrial township to attract more investment from Taiwan electronic and semiconductor companies.

Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan the government has launched an investigation into the incident and decried it as it will spread bad image to the state industry-friendly climate.

“The incident should not have happened, that too when the State government is working hard to woo investors. Strict action will be taken against those who are responsible for the attack,” said C N Ashwath Narayan.

C N Ashwath Narayan also said the state goverment is committed to work for the investors and improve the industry investment friendly atmosphere in the state.

“Inquiry will also look into complaints about non-payment of salary for the workers and salary cuts. If workers are facing such issues, they should have taken it to the labour commissioner or the deputy commissioner. Taking the law into one’s own hands cannot be justified,” said the Deputy Chief Minister.

The unrest is following primarily due to allegation on reduced and delayed salary payment and arbitrary changes to the labour contract.

It is interesting to note that the unrest at Wistron comes at a time when a few other companies operating out of Karnataka have faced similar trouble with workers. The car-maker Toyota Kirloskar Motors Pvt. Ltd (TKM) is facing labour unrest for about a month now as there is a simmering discontent among the laboureres on management actions.

Even though the Karnataka government requested the company to resume operations and the workers to call off its strike, the Bidadi plant continues to work with 5% staff strength as most workers are yet to report to work. Besides various statement government, the central government is making concerted efforts to make manufacturing 20% of GDP. Also, India is working hard to attract investment from various companies which are shifting their base from China.

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