Foxconn have reopened one of their Chinese factories after closing it yesterday due to a fight among 2,000 workers. Foxconn said the police were investigating the issue, and it was so bad that they closed the factory yesterday to calm the tensions among their staff.
Many are claiming that the brawl may have been due to grievances over working conditions and pay, but it has not yet been confirmed. 40 People are reported as injured.
Foxconn are responsible for manufacturing many Apple products, including the new iPhone 5, which has sold over 2 million units in the first day of release. There is no information as to whether this brawl will have caused some delays in production for the iPhone 5. Apple are already experiencing a four week backlog for orders of the new smartphone.
The brawl apparently started after a ‘confrontation’ between a guard and a factory worker. The Associated Press claim that the violence was fueled by ‘anger among factory workers over treatment by Foxconn security guards and managers.’
“Foxconn, some supervisors, and security guards never respect us,” said the employee, who asked not to be identified by name. “We all have this anger toward them and they (the workers) wanted to destroy things to release this anger.”
Production has resumed today.
Labor in China has been under scrutiny now for some time and the situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better. The communist system doesn’t allow independent labour unions which doesn’t help. Factories and businesses which have unions must be part of the government sanctioned All-China Federation of Trade Unions. Workers say that leaders of local branches are often allied with management and will not stand up for the workforce they represent.
The Associated Press added:
“They have no other way of voicing their grievances,” said Geoffrey Crothall, communications director for China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong organization that promotes employee rights in China. “There are no formal channels of communication or ways of resolving grievances through peaceful negotiation.”
Foxconn have recently raised their pay structure for employees after being featured in the press over poor working conditions and wages. Many claim the conditions and wages are still extremely bad.
Kitguru says: It will be interesting to see how Foxconn deal with this, especially with the world press watching their every move.