2,000 brawl at dorm for Foxconn workers in China; factory shut

BEIJING -- A brawl involving about 2,000 workers broke out Sunday night at a dormitory that houses Foxconn employees in China’s Shanxi province.

Forty people were taken to hospitals for medical attention and “a number” of individuals were arrested, Foxconn Technology Group said in a statement. The official New China News Agency put the number of injured at 10.

Foxconn, a major supplier to many of the world’s electronics giants, is perhaps best known as a maker of Apple products, including iPhones. The company said production at its facility in Taiyuan city would be halted temporarily and would resume Tuesday.

Photos posted on China’s Weibo microblogging site purporting to be of the incident showed scores of police on the scene, broken windows in a building, and overturned vehicles. A video captured police using megaphones to urge crowds to disperse.

The company said a “personal dispute” between employees from its Taiyuan facility “escalated” at the privately managed dormitory and police brought the situation under control by 3 a.m. Monday. The company said it was assisting local authorities in their investigation but the incident appeared “not to have been work-related.”

Postings on Weibo indicated that the fight began when a guard beat up a worker and made disparaging comments about people from Henan province.

Foxconn said its facility in Taiyuan employs 79,000 people and manufactures automobile electronic components, consumer electronic components and precision moldings. Workers at the Taiyuan facility went on strike in March over pay issues.

A manager at the facility contacted by phone refused to answer questions about the brawl.

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-- Julie Makinen

 
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