updated 07:45 am EDT, Mon September 24, 2012
Foxconn iPhone 5 plant under lockdown
A mass riot of around 2,000 workers at Foxconn's Taiyun plant has resulted in at least 40 people being hospitalized, reports Reuters. The plant is said to be under lockdown with all operations ceased while Foxconn works with authorities to try and determine the cause of the riot. Athough Foxconn does not officially identify which plants produce products for Apple or other companies, workers have reported that the plant affected is in fact among those that produce the iPhone 5.
"The plant is closed today for investigation," said a Foxconn spokesman. "The cause of this dispute is under investigation by local authorities and we are working closely with them in this process, but it appears not to have been work-related," Foxconn said.
Although it has not been confirmed, early reports suggest that the riot was triggered after security guards severely bashed one, or possibly two employees from the Henan province. This is said to have resulted in a violent response which allegedlly included workers setting quilts on fire and throwing them out of windows. Police responded by making multiple arrests with indications that at least three people were also taken to hospital with serious injuries.
The incident is the latest in a series of worker related issues to have plagued Foxconn. In June, 100 workers went on a violent rampage its its Chengdu plant, while the company has also been under an intense spotlight for its general treatment of employees. Although Foxconn produces products for Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, Nokia and others, Apple has taken the brunt of the criticism.
However, while the other companies have been happy to remain largely silent on the matter, Apple has been working with Foxconn and labor groups to increase worker salaries and improve overall working conditions.