What’s behind the Foxconn worker riots?

“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.

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


  1. If indeed a guard struck a worker they need some really harsh punishment. A foxxcon guard has to be one of the lowest ranks of employees. Guys not even qualified to be cops. They have no leg to stand on as far as justification for striking a line worker.

    1. Being a police officer is not an automatic in to the Party. I have worked in China. According to the Party member I talked to, the Party is selective and not many are allowed to join.

      I think it may be more common in the upper ranks, but I doubt its that common in frontline officers.

  2. Please remember that those who build our beloved Macs, iPads and iPhones are capitalists who want to make as much money in local currency as possible so that they can start something that make their family lives long and prospers. They are under the Chinese law. Only Apple can do this. 😉

  3. What are the guards for, bull whips or gate security? There should be no reason what so ever for a guard to touch an employee. However if the employee was disgruntled and was being asked to leave, you do have to call security to get them off the property.

    1. There is no verifiable information that there even were any guards. The ‘guards started it’ rumor was apparently passed along via cell phones with no actual eye witness identified.

      Logic: Would Foxconn have their guards at a private dorm facility? If so, why? The riot wasn’t even at Foxconn property.

      So shove your FUD back up your back orifice, little troll.

      We continue to NOT know why the riot happened. Thank you China: Criminal Nation for hiding the facts, as usual.

    1. The manifesto of the troll has come true. Anonymous-coward Samsung-employee Gary has FUDed Apple. *yawn*

      Hey dumbass Gary: Name an international company that does NOT make use of the Slave Wage Labor Movement.

      Oh, you say ‘Samsung’.
      BZZZZZZZT!!! You FAIL!
      Samsung does exactly the same thing, as does every other electronic technology company.

      Is the Slave Wage Labor Movement a good thing? We all vote YES when we buy the resulting products. If you’d like to vote ‘NO’ then these days, there isn’t much to choose from. Cheap labor is ever the goal in manufacturing. Read some history.

      So once again Gary, we can only laugh at all you anonymous coward trolls, Samsung paid and otherwise. heeheehee hahaha 😆 😛

  4. The moment I spotted that this story originated from Reuters, it was obvious that it was yet another of their Apple stories that were fabricated without any factual basis. Total speculation.

  5. China rapid economic growth is causing massive pressures for cultural and every-day change. It took decades for us in America to adjust to the industrial revolution and mechanization, and mass production. It took strikes, riots, scandals, crafting new laws and societal change to change child labor and primitive working conditions. China is changing at a pace that is giving them growing pains, but change takes time.

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