Although Apple has apparently managed to improve the working environment at the Foxconn factories in China, a current riot says otherwise. A worker riot shut down a Foxconn factory for a whole day after 1,000 employees clashed with the police late Sunday.
Foxconn Technology, one of the major suppliers for well known brands as Apple and Hewlett-Packard, went on a technical shut down due to a worker riot. The event took place yesterday night and today all work shut down in order to fix the damages that occurred.
The spark that lit the fuse of the riot seems to have been a fight that took place in a private managed dormitory near a Foxconn Factory between an employee and a safety guard. The fight that occurred in the northern city of Taiyuan is still under investigation by the police. A straight answer of what happened is still awaited.
What we do know for sure is that the Taiyuan police dispatched approximately five thousand officers, according to Xinhua News Agency in order to stop the riot that emerged from the small brawl.
The riot involved more than one thousand Foxconn workers. Although there aren’t yet any official reports, according to photos posted on the internet, the factory suffered some. Along with broken windows and possibly a car set on fire, there have also been reported approximately 40 injured people who were taken to the Taiyuan Hospital.
There are some rumors that the Taiyuan Foxconn Factory was making iPhone 5 products but a spokesman from Foxconn declined to specify. But even if they were building iPhones or not, Foxconn shut down work for Monday, meaning that 79,000 people will have a free unpaid day.
Workers riots have started to become quite usual in China, with people beginning to rise and stand for their rights and also demanding higher payment. And Foxconn has encountered employee issues before. Just a month ago there were labor issues reported regarding too many hours of work and unpaid extra time. Fortunately, these problems have been solved by Apple as soon as they found out. Or at least that’s what officials said.
Foxconn Technology Group is one of the major constructor and supplier of important electronic companies such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. Worker riots mean labor costs might just boost enough to have these companies start looking for another place to set their supply chain.