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Foxconn facing new criticism for ‘thuggish’ security

Foxconn are facing a new wave of criticism, as the latest fight at one of their factories has placed the spotlight on their security team. Reports are coming in that the heavy handed security team and the regimented dormitory life may have been the tipping point for the brawl which broke out recently at one of their plants in China.

The reports show that up to 2,000 people were involved in the fight, with police called in to handle the situation. People were arrested and some were taken to hospital. The timing of the unrest couldn’t have happened at a worse time, as Foxconn partner with Apple for production of their iPhone 5 smartphones.

An employee told Reuters that the plant at Taiyuan are among those that produce parts for the iPhone 5. Other employees have said that the fight started because of the growing tension between workers and security guards. Early reports say that the fight started when one of the workers was severely beaten by security.

Thousands of police arrived at the scene which involved up to 2,000 people and 40 people were taken away with injuries.

A 19 year old worker in hospital with injuries spoke out and said he was angered by the rough security guards at the factory and a culture of managers who curse the workers.

The worker said “It doesn’t matter who you are, you shouldn’t curse people like that. They do it all the time. If it happens over a long time, it builds up and of course it makes people angry and they go crazy like that.”

Security personnel who work for Foxconn are said to be heavy handed as they try to stop workers stealing the production goods, including Apple prototypes. All workers can be subjected to body searchers on a regular basis. In 2010, the guards were said to rough up a Reuters journalist outside a factory in Shenzhen.

Apple don’t escape criticism, as Li Qiang with the New York based China Labor watch says “The whole Apple production chain has problems. Its sales and marketing strategy involves launching a product suddenly, without maintaining much inventory … so the subsequent product shortages help build demand, but also place extreme pressures on workers.”

Kitguru says: The trouble at Foxconn continues.

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