As Srivatsa Kumar* stepped out of his workplace on the morning of December 12 last year, he could sense a ‘storm’ brewing. Kumar had just finished his night shift (10 pm-6 am) at Wistron Infocomm, the Taiwanese contract manufacturing company for Apple’s iPhones, in Narasapura industrial area, at the periphery of Bengaluru city.
A large group of employees had gathered outside to protest against the discrepancies in salary payout. Most of them, including Kumar, had been promised good salaries but were paid much less, and also made to work more.
Kumar, however, felt protest was not the right way to address the issue. So, he went home. Unlike his counterparts who travelled in company buses for 20-40km, as far as from Bengaluru city, Kumar hailed from the nearby town in Kolar and hence travelled back home on his own vehicle.
Within half an hour the crowd went berserk as the company failed to address the wage issues. The irate workers allegedly threw stones, smashed glass windows, damaged vehicles, furniture, and other office equipment alleging they were paid a lesser salary than promised or delayed payouts, without valid reasons.
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