A Foxconn plant in Taiyuan, China, closed on Monday following a riot sparked by a fight among workers. Foxconn, a key supplier for Apple and several other electronics companies, has been the target of harsh criticisms about working conditions at its facilities.
According to China Daily, “Forty people were injured late Sunday in a fight that broke out among workers at a Foxconn plant in North China’s Shanxi province, government officials said Monday.” It added, “The fight started at 11 pm in the site’s dormitory zone in Taiyuan, attracting more than 10,000 spectators and triggering chaos, according to the city’s public security bureau. Around 5,000 policemen were sent to the scene, bringing it under control at 9 am Monday.”
Reuters reported that a Foxconn spokesman said, “The plant is closed today for investigation” The article added, “An employee contacted by telephone said the closure could last two or three days.”
The Wall Street Journal added, “Workers said factory officials shouted though loudspeakers at employees watching the dispute to go back to their dorm. ‘They shouted, There is nothing to be filmed or shot, put your mobile phone in your pocket and go back to sleep,‘ a male worker recounted. The cause of the dispute wasn’t clear, although employees said workers brought in from distant locations have been unhappy with their situation.”
According to the New York Times, “One Foxconn employee reached by telephone Monday afternoon, however, said the disturbance had begun when workers started brawling with security guards, and it eventually had led to a huge riot involving more than 1,000 workers. Foxconn said no property had been destroyed or damaged.” However, it added, “Unconfirmed photographs and video circulated on social networking sites, purporting to be from the factory, showed smashed windows, riot police officers and large groups of workers milling around. The Foxconn plant, in the central Chinese city of Taiyuan, employs about 79,000 workers.”