Karnataka government reports reveal serious violations at Kolar factory

A detailed government report uncovered numerous violations at Wistron Infotech and HR outsourcing companies tasked with providing manpower.

The report comes even as Apple Inc prepares to ship more investigators to Kolar to investigate Wistron’s possible violation of the provider’s code of conduct.

Convened by the Department of Factories, Boilers, Industrial Safety and Health, the report found that the Taiwanese company had increased its authorized workforce at its Narasapura plant from 5,000 to 10,500 in a short time without permission, while it also began construction of new buildings. and facilities without government authorization.

In addition to this there are violations by the outsourcing companies regarding the payment and overtime.

Seven major contractors were involved in delivering manpower to the factory: Innov Source Pvt Ltd, Creative Engineers, Needs Manpower Support Services, Randstad, Quess Corp Limited, Adecco Group and United (Management).

Of those creative engineers and Quess Corp Ltd were allowed to hire 2,350 and 1,350 contract workers respectively in the factory, while they employed 2,410 and 1,511 workers. This violates Article 14 and Rule 28 of the Contract Work (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1970 and the Karnataka Rules, 1974.

The firms also failed to provide workers with employment certificates, which is a violation of Article 76 of the said act.

These companies did not keep an attendance record, which they neglected to deliver to the research team, in violation of Article 78 (1) (A) (A) (i). Wistron’s working hours from 6 to 18 and from 18 to 6 in the morning also violated the provisions of Articles 51 and 54 of the Factory Act of 1948.

The report also said that women workers were forced to work overtime in the factory, as long as the law does not provide for such obligations.

When the pay gap was taken care of by human resources and contractors, the HR team “assured that this will be corrected and the pay gap will be paid along with next month’s salary”. But investigators found that this difference was not paid. along with wages in November.

Answering a question from DH on the alleged violations, Guruprasad Srinivasan, COO, Quess Corp said: “This is a really unfortunate event. We paid wages to the contract workers according to the offer letter we issued to them. We do not violate any standards as we are a listed company. and we are under strict control, ”he said.

However, the government report found that some firms declare payments to workers according to the standards while underpaying or delaying payments to workers.

“The wages of operating contract workers have so far not been paid and (they) have to work 12 hours a day for six days a week and receive the same salary they paid when they worked eight hours a day,” the report added.

Researchers also found that the company changed the factory’s working hours from eight-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts without informing the labor department.

Apple will send investigators

Apple Inc. said in a statement that it is “sending additional Apple team members and auditors to the facility.”

A spokesman for the U.S. smartphone operator said it will investigate various issues related to the provider’s code of conduct and take necessary actions.

“This is a criminal case and the local government bodies are investigating. We are extending all the necessary support. Apple is dedicated to ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is treated with dignity and respect,” the statement said.