State govt. not inclined to take punitive action against Wistron

Penal action against Wistron Infocomm, where violations of labour laws have been reported after violence broke out at its facility in Narasapura in Kolar, appears unlikely, with a senior Industries Department official stating that “punitive action is no solution.”

Speaking to The Hindu, the official said, “There will be a lot of introspection by Wistron and parent company Apple, which has been assured.”

Meanwhile, Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar said that he will be visiting the facility on Sunday and a call will be taken post the visit.

‘No solution’

“A punitive action is not a solution. In a global company for a fault that happened at some level, responsibility has to be fixed within the organisation for non-compliance,” the official said.

He, however, added that the company was liable to comply with the law of the land. “They have to maintain records and furnish them when called for… Whatever laws are applicable to others is applicable to them too. One has to take note of the mistake and not allow it to be repeated. They [Wistron] are taking remedial measures.”

When asked if the government expected companies to move out of the State for insisting on compliance with law, he said there has to be “balance.” He said that the government will also have to think of “allowing economic growth for generation of employment.”

Delegation meets

Meanwhile, a delegation of Joint Committee of Trade Unions (JCTU) on Thursday met Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar. They sought dropping of all criminal charges against those who indulged in violence at the Wistron facility in Naraspura and allow them to rejoin work when the facility restarts, since the company has admitted to lapses.

They also urged the State government to ensure that violations of the laws are corrected before the factory resumes operations.

They sought a joint White Paper by Labour and Factories Department on their findings of the violations in the facility. They pointed out serious violations of the law committed by the company, including increasing the workday to 12 hours without overtime payment, housekeeping staff being forced to work for 72 hours per week without overtime, employing women in night shifts, delayed payment of wages, unexplained and illegal deduction of wages from workers, and deploying contract workers in jobs which are perennial nature.

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