Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Factory brawl leaves work suspended at Foxconn

Foxconn was forced to suspend production on Monday, due to a brawl which ensued in a private dormitory, between about 2,000 workers, 40 of whom were injured after the fight.

The name of Foxconn is a very famous one, since the company chain employs about 1.2 million workers, and has its branches in Chengdu, Shenzhen, Taiyuan and Zhengzhou. The company manufactures iPads and iPhones for Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL), assembles products for Hewlett and Packard Co. and also assembles goods for Microsoft Corp.

The fight took place in a private dormitory near Foxconn Technology Group Factory in Taiyuan which is located northern city of China. The fight began on Sunday itself, at around 11 p.m., according to sources. The Xinhua official news released the police report, which stated that about 5,000 police officers were dispatched to the scene in order to calm things down. The production had to be stopped, and Foxconn has decided to resume work from Tuesday onwards.

About 79,000 people are employed in the Taiyuan branch of the company, and there has been news about dissatisfaction of the employees on account of very low wages and very harsh working hours. After evaluation, the company had agreed to increase the amount which was considered to be minimum wage. The working hours too, which was rumoured to be around 60 hours a week, was said to have been brought down to a more reasonable figure, by Foxconn. However, the fight may not have been work-related.

The company refused to comment about whether iPhones were being produced in this particular factory or not. The reason for the fight is also not known. The bulletin boards in the Chinese Internet have had posts saying that a security guard may have physically assaulted an employee, but a clearer picture is required in order to base this as a fact. There is proof, however, of the damage caused. Sina Weibo, a microblog service, uploaded pictures of broken windows, and the police trying to control the mayhem.

The 40 injured people have been taken to the hospital for medical attention, and Foxconn wishes to resume normalcy from Tuesday onwards. 

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