Fists were flying as 2,000 workers at Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, which makes Apple iPhones and components for top global electronics companies, closed in China, after workers were involved in a brawl at a company dormitory.
Police are investigating the plant, which employs about 79,000 people, trying to find out what caused the disturbance.
As reported by Reuters:
Foxconn said the trouble started with a personal row that blew up into a brawl. But some people posting messages on a Twitter-like site said factory guards had beaten workers and that sparked the melee.
“The plant is closed today for investigation,” Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo told Reuters. An employee contacted by telephone said the closure could last two or three days.
Pictures from just outside the plant and provided to Reuters showed broken windows at a building by an entrance gate and a line of olive-colored paramilitary police trucks parked inside the factory grounds.
The unrest is the latest in a string of incidents at plants run by Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co and the world’s largest contract maker of electronic goods.
Foxconn said in a statement the incident escalated from what it called a personal dispute between several employees at around 11 p.m. on Sunday in a privately managed dormitory, and was brought under control by police at around 3 a.m.
“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.
Security guards at the plant are said to be the ones that caused the disturbance, as witnesses say that four or five security guards beat a worker almost to death.
Foxconn does not confirm which of its plants supply Apple, but an employee told Reuters that the Taiyuan plant is among those that assemble and make parts for Apple’s iPhone 5.