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Riot involving 2,000 workers at Foxconn’s Taiyuan factory

by Mark Tyson on 24 September 2012, 11:15

Tags: Foxconn (TPE:2317), iPhone

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At Foxconn’s Taiyuan plant in Northern China about 2,000 workers were involved in a massive brawl, leaving 40 of them injured and requiring hospital treatment. The police were called in late last night to break up the fight and arrest a number of people. The incident ignited in one of the factory dormitories, not the factory production area, however the violence seems to have spilled out onto nearby streets, with shop windows smashed and police vehicles overturned. Sources say the brawl was caused by a personal dispute rather than anything to do with the factory management.

Poor working conditions and labour relations in Foxconn factories have been the subject of many previous news reports. The Foxconn factories also became notorious for suicides. However Foxconn issued a statement saying “The cause of this dispute is under investigation by local authorities and we are working closely with them in this process, but it appears not to have been work-related.” The plant in question employs a total of about 79,000 workers making various electronic parts and precision mouldings. The output of this factory does include parts and assembly of the Apple iPhone 5.

There are a number of on the scene videos available but as it was a night time incident, the video action is pretty dark and indistinct, taken I assume with some kind of mobile phone. It would have been interesting if two bystanders videoed the incident side by side, one using an iPhone 5 and another the Nokia Lumia 920. Perhaps next time.

The incident was fully under control by 9am thanks to the presence of 5,000 police officers and paramilitaries. Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo told Reuters that “The plant is closed today for investigation”. The investigation and closure may last up to three days according to an unnamed factory worker. Throughout China Foxconn operates many factories and has an estimated 1 million employees.



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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There were probably rumours that there was a single iPhone 5 up for grabs…….
shaithis
There were probably rumours that there was a single iPhone 5 up for grabs…….
That would be assuming 2000 Foxconn workers could potentially afford one. Sad as that is, there probably isn't a single one that could. Work and living conditions in their facilities are at the very best appalling and demeaning and there's plenty of recent reports on the net suggesting it won't get any better soon.
You do realise that working life outside of these factories can be even grimmer? I am not sticking up for Foxconn and I'm not being racist (being Chinese myself) but a lot of China is still very underdeveloped and in poverty. Surely, about 300 to 400 million are now middle class but in a population of 1.3 billion that's very much the minority.
dcwt2010
You do realise that working life outside of these factories can be even grimmer? I am not sticking up for Foxconn and I'm not being racist (being Chinese myself) but a lot of China is still very underdeveloped and in poverty. Surely, about 300 to 400 million are now middle class but in a population of 1.3 billion that's very much the minority.

Yes, I realize that and you made a valid point. It is a global problem, not just China's, though one way (and possibly the most obvious one) of addressing at least some of the concerns would be putting even more pressure on companies like Foxconn, simply for being in the limelight. I'm not a politician, but surely there's ways to improve work conditions with measures agreeable to both sides and not substantially increase production costs, no?
Yeah cause thats gonna help you guys to get better working conditions and such. Rioting leaving 40 fellow colleagues injured requiring hospital treatment. Thumbs up for you there lads!