Skip to main content

Report: Foxconn factory workers riot in China

By Madison Park, CNN
June 8, 2012 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
Foxconn employees work on a production line in China making electronic goods including Apple's iPad.
Foxconn employees work on a production line in China making electronic goods including Apple's iPad.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • As many as 1,000 Foxconn workers rioted in Chengdu on Monday, reports Taiwanese news site
  • Foxconn called the incident a "disagreement"
  • The company has been repeatedly been dogged by reports of alleged poor treatment of its employees

Lea este artículo en español/Read this article in Spanish

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Workers at Foxconn, which makes products for companies including Apple, have rioted at an employee dormitory in China, a Taiwanese news site reported Thursday.

There are differing accounts of the Monday incident.

The Want China Times reported that as many as 1,000 Foxconn workers in Chengdu threw trash, chairs, bottles and destroyed public facilities in a fracas that lasted two hours. The clash broke out at a male dormitory for Foxconn employees after workers hindered security guards who were trying to stop an alleged thief, the website said.

Foxconn, a Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer, described Monday's incident as a "disagreement." Local police were called to restore order, it said in a statement received by CNN.

A website affiliated with the publicity department of the Sichuan province, where the incident occurred, stated that the riot was triggered by a disagreement between seven Foxconn workers and a restaurant owner.

Foxconn is one of Apple's biggest manufacturing partners and employs hundreds of thousands of people in China to build popular electronic products like the iPhone and iPad. It has been repeatedly dogged by reports of alleged poor treatment of its employees including hazardous working conditions, harassment of workers and harsh living conditions.

Foxconn said events began after several of its workers from the plant had a disagreement with a restaurant owner in Chengdu. The disgruntled workers returned to their dormitory, "at which time a number of other residents also became involved in the disagreement and local police were called to the scene to restore order," the company added. The statement did not clarify with whom the workers had a conflict.

Rare look inside Foxconn factory campus
Audit of Foxconn finds major violations
Foxconn audit shows 'excessive overtime'

"Foxconn is cooperating with local law enforcement authorities on their investigation into this incident," the company stated.

The company also noted that the dormitory where the incident occurred was "owned and managed by third-party companies."

A publicity website for the Sichuan province stated that seven Foxconn workers affected by alcohol argued with a restaurant owner and began damaging the restaurant, which was reported by the China Daily.

Police were called and the workers fled to their dormitory, shouting "They are beating us," which triggered the riot involving about 100 workers, according to the statement. The provincial government said that no one was injured during the incident.

In a contrasting report, the Taiwanese news site reported that the initial rioting workers had prior grievances with the security guards. Citing Molihua, a news advocacy website for human rights in China, it said dozens of employees were arrested.

In recent months, Foxconn has been under intense scrutiny over working conditions at its Chinese plants.

A report released in June by a Hong Kong-based labor rights group said Foxconn workers in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhengzhou were subjected to long hours, low pay, humiliation and harassment. Another report issued by the Fair Labor Association in May found numerous safety problems at the factories.

The company increased worker's wages by 25% in February as it pledged to improve conditions.

Foxconn first came under the spotlight in 2010 after a series of worker suicides. This prompted Chairman Terry Gou to make an unprecedented public apology. Foxconn then released a statement saying it had introduced counselors, started a 24-hour phone counseling service and opened a stress room where workers can take out their frustration on mannequins with bats.

Although Foxconn makes electronic goods for Sony, Microsoft, Nokia and other household brands, it is most recognized for producing Apple products.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 0518 GMT (1318 HKT)
A top retired general has confessed to taking bribes, becoming the highest-profile figure in China's military to be caught up in President Xi Jinping's war on corruption.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
A group in China escapes from a stuck elevator thanks to one man and his trusty hammer. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Facebook's founder says he taught himself Mandarin and tested his skills with students in China.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0133 GMT (0933 HKT)
China launched an experimental spacecraft that is scheduled to orbit the moon before returning to Earth.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT)
Full marks for ingenuity: This was a truly high-tech scam.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0526 GMT (1326 HKT)
The rationale behind Confucius Institutes -- an international chain of academic centers run by an arm of the Chinese government -- is understandable.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
Smooth jazz saxophonist Kenny G wants everyone to know that he's not a foreign agitator trying to defy the Chinese Communist Party.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 0511 GMT (1311 HKT)
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 0315 GMT (1115 HKT)
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1454 GMT (2254 HKT)
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0229 GMT (1029 HKT)
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
 A man uses his smartphone on July 16, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Only 53.5% of Japanese owned smartphones in March, according to a white paper released by the Ministry of Communications on July 15, 2014. The survey of a thousand participants each from Japan, the U.S., Britain, France, South Korea and Singapore, demonstrated that Japan had the fewest rate of the six; Singapore had the highest at 93.1%, followed by South Korea at 88.7%, UK at 80%, and France at 71.6%, and U.S. at 69.6% in the U.S. On the other hand, Japan had the highest percentage of regular mobile phone owners with 28.7%. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 0020 GMT (0820 HKT)
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.
ADVERTISEMENT