Mumbai | Kolkata: A few members of India’s apex body in the flexi-staffing sector have raised questions on why the global staffing firms did not pay salaries from their own accounts to the workers they had supplied to Wistron’s Karnataka plant, if there were delays in payment by the contract manufacturer.

The Indian Staffing Federation (ISF) may convene a meeting soon to discuss allegations of payment irregularities against some of its biggest members, executives at these staffing firms said. “Payment delays are serious allegations against these large companies. Some of the members want to know that even if there was a delay from Wistron’s end, why was the payment not processed from the recruitment companies’ side,” asked a member of ISF.

The federation has informally started enquiries of its own on whether there were lapses which led to violence at Wistron’s facility in Kolar district of Karnataka, about two weeks ago, the person said. According to two people in the know, the ISF may call for a meeting in the next few weeks to discuss the matter.

Randstad, Quess Corp, Innovsource and Adecco are some of the biggest names involved with Wistron. Some of them have earlier officially denied any non-compliance. The companies did not respond to ET’s queries till press time Monday.

It is a usual practice among flexi-staffing companies to pay wages from their own accounts in such cases until payment delays are sorted out, said a senior member of the federation.

“The overall Wistron contract is about 200 crore in total and in the staffing industry, delays are common. It was not impossible for the recruiters to pay 2-3 crore and then make the adjustments with clients later,” this person said. “Also, if there were delays, why were red flags not raised? These questions need to be answered because there are other clients who are worried as well.”

On an average, a contract employee in these manufacturing companies get about 15,000 a month and payment from the client comes in on a specific date with details such as how many did overtime and what was the bill amount. The staffing firm then pays the salaries to the workforce.

However, some members ruled out the possibility of a meeting. “The ISF does not involve itself on specific client or contractual obligations with staffing companies,” said a senior executive.

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