BANGALORE : Authorities vowed to crack down on workers who went on a violent rampage at a Taiwanese run iPhone factory in southern India over allegations of unpaid wages and exploitation, with 100 people arrested so far.

The workers rioted on Saturday at Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing's facility in the outskirts of Bangalore, India's IT hub, with videos of the violence showing glass panels smashed with rods and cars flipped on their side.

CCTV cameras, fans and lights were torn down, while a car was set on fire, footage shared on social media showed. 

Local media reported workers saying they had not been paid for up to four months and were being forced to do extra shifts.

Wistron in Taiwan said that ''the incident was misused by people of unknown identities from from outside who intruded into and damaged its facility with unclear intentions''.

A trade union leader alleged that there was ''brutal exploitation'' of factory workers in sweatshop conditions at the iPhone manufacturing plant.

''The state government allowed the company to flout the basic rights,'' Satyaanand, who uses one name told The Hindu newspaper.

The factory employs some 15,000 workers, although a majority of them are contracted via staffing firms, according to local media

Labour unrest is not uncommon in India, with workers paid poorly and given few or no social security benefits.

A sizeable number of manufacturing plants are part of the informal sector, which employs 90 percent of the vast nation's workforce.

Parliament in September passed updated labour laws that the national government said would strengthen their rights, but labour activists say the new legislation makes it harder for workers to strike. [AFP]


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