“What’s up with Foxconn? It was only earlier this year that they turned to a prominent labor-monitoring organization to carry out a review of factory conditions, in what seemed a real effort to clean up their troubled Chinese production facilities, which make Apple’s iPhone and iPad, as well as electronics products for other companies including Sony and Nintendo,” Dexter Roberts reports for Businessweek.

“Now come the September 23 worker riots at the company’s Taiyuan, Shanxi factory that employs 79,000. The turmoil forced Foxconn to shut production for a day earlier this week. That melee involved 2,000 workers with 40 hospitalized,” Roberts reports. “And while initially the company blamed the extended brawl on a dormitory dispute between workers from two different provinces that got out of control, that version of events is being questioned.”

Roberts reports, “Instead, tension between guards and workers, seems to have had a role in sparking the incident, says Geoffrey Crothall, research director at the Hong Kong-based China Labor Bulletin. ‘It just makes sense given what we know about the heavy-handed ways of the security apparatus at Foxconn. They have a longstanding reputation of being heavy-handed and harsh with workers,’ says Crothall… While conditions may indeed have gotten better in the three facilities that Foxconn opened for inspection (those include their two Shenzhen factories, as well as another in Chengdu, Sichuan), that may not be the case for the rest of their Chinese facilities.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Foxconn: Taiyuan plant back online, riots will not affect shipments – September 26, 2012
Riots break out at Foxconn factory in China – September 24, 2012