Yesterday we reported on a riot at an Indian iPhone factory, which local authorities concluded was the result of underpaid wages and substandard working conditions. Legal experts now claim that, under Indian law, Apple has ultimate responsibility and could be asked to join the investigation.
The Economic Times cites the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act of 1970, and claims: "The contractor is responsible for payment of wages [but] the principal employer is ultimately responsible for it." It follows that authorities can seek explanations from both Wistron, which owns the plant, and Apple, although neither company responded to the paper's enquiries.
Apple, for its part, has blamed Wistron. As recently as last Saturday, the news came that the partner would not get any new business until the shortcomings that led to dissatisfied employees causing damage to a value of £5m have been rectified. (Since we wrote this story, Apple has agreed to restart work at the factory, but says the owner "remains on probation".)
Apple has previously taken similar action with Pegatron, another partner whose employees were found to work under unreasonable conditions. In that case, the issue was long working days for students.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.