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1,000 Foxconn Workers Riot in Chengdu

1,000 Foxconn Workers Riot in Chengdu

One thousand workers at Foxconn’s factory in Chengdu in southwestern China rioted on Monday night in a male dormitory. Want China Times reports that workers threw trash bins, paper, bottles and furniture after plant security arrived at the dormitory over concerns about a thief. The workers rioted for two hours and twelve were arrested by police, whom Foxconn had called in.

Want China Times suggests that some employees who had “grudges against the security officers” used a minor distubance as the impetus to address a number of “prior grievances.”

The Chengdu factory makes the LCD displays for a number of devices including Apple’s best-selling iPad. It also manufactures components for devices made by Sony, Microsoft, Nokia, Amazon and other companies.

As Tech Crunch says, some workers specifically “had remaining grievances” from  an explosion that occurred at the Chengdu plant last May. Three workers were  killed and eighteen injured in a horrific blast; Lai Xiaodong, an employee who died, suffered burns over 90 percent of his body. Seven months later, 59 workers were injured, 23 of whom had to be hospitalized, at a Shanghai plant that also made iPads.

Taiwan-based Foxconn, the largest electronic contract manufacturer in the world and one of China’s largest employers, described Monday’s incident as a “disagreement” and said that the incident occurred “after several of its workers from the plant had a disagreement with a restaurant owner,” says CNN.

Two Reports About Foxconn and Abuse of Workers’ Rights

In the past year, Foxconn has been repeatedly plagued with accusations of human rights and workers rights abuses, with numerous media reports (including an in-depth New York Times article) detailing inhumane working and living conditions and an increase in suicides.

In February, Foxconn increased workers’ wages by 25 percent and said that it would improve conditions.

Meanwhile, in March, an independent review by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) found violations in wages and overtime at three Chinese Foxconn factories that make Apple products. The FLA found that individual workers’ hours often “exceeded” 60 per week; Foxconn has responded that  workers will not work more than 49 hours by July 1, 2013. While such changes may appease Western consumers, Foxconn workers themselves have not necessarily seen the reforms to be to their benefit as working fewer hours means they will earn less.

A Hong Kong-based workers’ rights group released another report in June that described ”long hours, low pay, humiliation and harassment” for Foxconn workers in factories in Shenzhen and Zhengzhou.



Related Care2 Coverage

Why iPads Won’t Be “Made In America” Any Time Soon

Strong Unions and Labor Laws Protect Foxconn Factory Workers in Brazil

Foxconn Exploits Workers: What Should Apple Do?


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Photo of Shenzhen factory via Wikimedia Commons

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3:24AM PDT on Jun 9, 2012

Boycott Apple.

9:45PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

When I'm shopping and see something made in North America, I now buy that over the Chinese made product. Even if I pay a little bit more. I find the quality much better. It is impossible to do that for everything of course, but its a start.

2:48PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Slave labor, a american addiction !

2:26PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

And still we buy our toys made in China. It doesn't matter if it is an electornic toy or a child's toy. They all poison us in one way or the other.

1:45PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Maybe they will form a union

11:43AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Global Online Democracy (GOD) direct, decentralized and electronic is the future. All the people know what's best for them, not politicians, dictators, plutocrats or commissars. Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and other countries have long known this. Others like Ecuador have found out that direct democracy is the only real democracy and have begun governing with the popular initiative and referenda, uncorrupted by Big Money.

10:39AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Hang onm, these kids of working conditions are what are planned for this country should romney take POTUS and the House remain heavily GOP

10:00AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Apple needs to bring the work back to America if they wish to survive their low market numbers ...

9:58AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Apple needs to bring the work back home if they wish to survive their low market comparison to their competitors...

9:56AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Apple may be in big trouble again ... all the more reason to make the switch to ... Android

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