Foxconn China Plant Shut Down After Riot Involving 2,000 Workers - HotHardware
Foxconn China Plant Shut Down After Riot Involving 2,000 Workers

Foxconn China Plant Shut Down After Riot Involving 2,000 Workers

Riots involving thousands of disgruntled workers have erupted at one of Foxconn's plants in China. Foxconn builds and supplies Apple's iPhone devices, including the new iPhone 5, as well as various other electronics for companies like Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and other well known companies.

"The plant is closed today for investigation," a Foxconn spokesman told Reuters in a statement.

It's being reported that the plant could stay closed for up to several days. If so, it would come at a time when Apple's newest smartphone is on pace to become the best selling iPhone (and smartphone) of all time. However, strife between workers and management at Foxconn (otherwise known as Hon Hai Precision) are nothing new. Reports of poor working conditions, long hours, and insufficient pay have been circulating for years, and last year saw a rash of employee suicides make headlines at a frightening pace.

Foxconn Factory

This time around, it's being reported that around 2,000 workers were involved in a brawl that, according to Foxconn, started off as simply a personal dispute between a few employees last night. Comments posted to Twitter conflict with Foxconn's statement and suggest that the riot may have actually been instigated by security guards, who are accused of beating workers.
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Interesting....i wonder how this willturn out.

Possibly very bad withthe police or government trying to end it with force.

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Well, if Foxconn is closing a plant, you can rest assure, it's with the go ahead and blessing of the Chinese government.  And who knows, maybe its the government itself that wants the closing so that it can investigate.

It seems like the Chinese plants seems to be having ongoing issues because of the communist government there.

Maybe it's time for Foxconn to close down the Chinese plants and built new one's elsewhere.

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If the Chinese government wanted this plant shutdown they would have done so already, they probably haven't come to a proper decision yet and hence the investigation. If nothing happens after then maybe the government has a vested interest in the success or failure of Foxconn. As for moving the plant somewhere else that is a huge expense and there is no place in the world where they would be allowed to treat employees in this manner other than china.

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Karanm, if you really believe that the worst working conditions in the world are found in China, you might be advised to update your knowledge. Foxconn's plants in China are hardly places I'd care to work - and I wouldn't be entirely adverse to meeting founder Guo Taiming alone in a dark alley and having a more spirited discussion on worker's rights with him than that he seems to have had with the director of the Taibei municipal zoo, whom he asked for advice on how to deal with the million or so workers employed by the company, but let me assure you that there are, alas, far worse places in which to work in other countries. Or did you miss, e g, the NYT article on the recent Karachi garment factory fire that snuffed out hundreds of lives ? I realise that China-bashing has become a spectator sport in the United States, but it's still a good idea to get one's facts right....

Henri

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First off I did not say that china has the worst working conditions, I didn't even bash China in a major way. What i said was that no other country would allow anybody to treat employees in such a manner. In the article you supplied the reaction of the Pakistani government is a genuine admittance of fault and they are also attempting to find the people responsible and bring them to justice. "Workplace safety is guaranteed under Pakistan’s Constitution, but labor leaders say that government oversight has crumbled rapidly in recent years, along with a general decline in governance. " In Foxconn's case there hasn't even been a fine against the company after all the reports of labour abuse and all the suicides. This may be because the government has a vested interest in the company or maybe its just because they don't know what's going on in the plants as a certainty, either way I hope the chinese government will take a good look at the working conditions and do what is best for the people.

Also I know there probably are worse working conditions in many places around the globe but the major difference is that in places like Pakistan or major parts of Africa or even other countries in the pacific rim these practices are carried out without anybody important knowing (or if they do know they are usually bribed) but in the case with Foxconn the whole world knows and still nothing major was done to change their practices. Oh yea Apple issued a list of changes that the company must make in order to comply with the the laws of the country, these should have been followed in the first place but weren't and again nothing was done to punish Foxconn.

I'm sorry about the rant but I really don't like it when people try to put words in my mouth and decide that I don't know what I'm saying. I'll admit I have said something wrong when the proper rebuttal is put in front of me for what I said, not when someone decides to make a mountain out of an ant hill and posts an article to further his point.

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First off, karanm, please note that conditional form of my statement - I did not write that you believe that the worst working conditions in the world are found in China ; rather, I suggested that if you believe that to be the case, then you need to update your knowledge. Thus, either you are deliberately attempting to put words in my mouth, or you need to work on your reading comprehension. Secondly, when tragedies similar to that which occured in Pakistan happen in China, which they do all too frequently, the owners of the companies are generally published severely ; anyone who keeps up with, e g, the frequent mining disasters in China is aware of this fact. Foxconn, being the immense operation it is, most certainly has connexions all the way up to the highest levels in government and therewith a great degree of impunity (just as in the vast majority of countries around the world), but their treatment of employees is, according to organisations like China Labor Watch, which is certainly no supporter of Foxconn, no worse and probably better than that found in most factories in China and elsewhere in Asia. To say that the distinction between the situation in China and that of other countries with weak trade unions and weak labour legislation is that «these practices are carried out without anybody important knowing» is an unworthy combination of special pleading and ignorance - your following comment «or if they do know they are usually bribed» is much closer to the truth, in China and elsewhere. If you are genuinely interested in these matters, you might want to consider following LabourStart, which will disabuse you of the fond notion that these conditions are as you claimed in your orginal posting, unique to China. But alas, you seem to feel that abuses carried out in ohter countries than China are «anthills» as compared to the Chinese «mountain»....

Henri

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Ok the mountain and anthill comment was meant for you blowing up my comment on China's inaction against Foxconn, it wasn't for the comparison of problems between countries.  Now the article you posted on China Labour Watch is great and a subsequent report by them Beyond Foxconn : Deplorable Working Conditions Characterize Apple's Entire Supply Chain  shows just how bad the problem in China is. Its a long report with some interesting parts, the most pertinent to our conversation would be this;

"However, after successfully surveying four factories in Shenzhen, our investigators ran into opposition in Shanghai and Jiangsu province. In Shanghai, factory management found out about our surveys and contacted the local police, who then confiscated our surveys and detained our investigators for seven hours before buying them train tickets and ordering them to leave Shanghai. In Jiangsu province, police also bought our investigators train tickets and forced them to leave. Undeterred in the face of obstacles, we sent a second investigatory team to finish what had been started. Some of our investigators entered the factories as undercover workers while others interviewed workers around the factory premises"

I know actions like these happen in many countries but they are usually at a small level within one state/province or can be traced back to a few corrupt officials. However what is happening here seems to me like its part of a much larger problem. Multiple provinces and multiple factories under the same supply chain are causing the problem and it seems to me the government is turning a blind eye to it all. The report also comments on labor dispatching in China which sounds like a blatant lie to the people about their working conditions and area. I'll admit I don't know as much about this as you Henri but seriously is this happening in other countries as well, especially to this extent?? I highly doubt it but I wouldn't be surprised if you do prove me wrong.

I only read some of the headlines from the Labor Start page and yes there was all kinds of news of labour disputes in countries from India to Argentina, but most of them were about strikes and court decisions or union decisions. All the problems were being addressed or the people were allowed to voice their opinions in some sort of a protest. This hasn't happened in relation to Foxconn and the other factories because like we both agree they play a huge part in China's economy. I'll admit there are many major corporations that get away with stuff like this because they made a deal behind a closed door with a corrupt official, however this problem with the labor dispute is right in everybody's face because of the big name of Apple behind it and yet nothing major is being done to bring about an actual change.

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Perhaps a bit disingenuous of you, karanm, to claim that the remark on which I commented - « there is no place in the world where they would be allowed to treat employees in this manner other than china» - «wasn't for the comparison of problems between countries» ? «Noo place in the world ... other than ...» certainly sounds like a comparison to me. No one who has any knowledge of working conditions in China (and a certain degree of integrity) disagrees that they are often very bad, but to claim as you most certainly did (albeit you now attempt to elide this point), that nowhere else in the world are they as bad is to show either ignorance of the problem or a desire to deceive. You also seem to be unwilling to recognise that bad as things are at Foxconn, they are far better there than in other industries, both in China (e g, the illegal coal mining industry) and elsewhere (e g, many textile factories in Bangladesh and Pakistan). Indeed, the conditions under which many sans papiers are forced to work - and who are often cheated of their wages - here in Sweden with its proud trade-union tradition (very much under attack) are in many ways worse than those at Foxconn), not to speak of those endured by the people from Romania or Thailand, etc, who, after loaning large sums of money to pay for the trip, are flown in by unscrupulous contractors during the berry season and who often find themselves without wages and forced to beg to keep body and soul together, before government at the local and national level is compelled to intervene and they are repatriated, with nothing to show for their efforts but bad memories and a mountain of debt. These people, I submit, would love to have a place to work like Foxconn....

Summa summarium : Working conditions in China are often bad, and it is good that even Apple fanbois sometimes react to the conditions under which their beloved devices are produced, but, alas, they are far from the worst to be found in this, the best of all possible worlds....

Henri

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Ok I guess I'm gonna hafta spell things our for you in a much clearer way for you than I had thought. Here is your comment;

"But alas, you seem to feel that abuses carried out in ohter countries than China are «anthills» as compared to the Chinese «mountain»"

and here is my reply to that;

"Ok the mountain and anthill comment was meant for you blowing up my comment on China's inaction against Foxconn, it wasn't for the comparison of problems between countries."

So let me help you with your reading comprehension,  "to make a mountain out of a molehill" (supposed to be molehills not anthills, my mistake on that) is an expression that one uses when there is an exaggerated response to a circumstance or comment. Here is an excellent example;

 My comment: "As for moving the plant somewhere else that is a huge expense and there is no place in the world where they would be allowed to treat employees in this manner other than china."

to which the response by you was; "

Karanm, if you really believe that the worst working conditions in the world are found in China, you might be advised to update your knowledge. Foxconn's plants in China are hardly places I'd care to work - and I wouldn't be entirely adverse to meeting founder Guo Taiming alone in a dark alley and having a more spirited discussion on worker's rights with him than that he seems to have had with the director of the Taibei municipal zoo, whom he asked for advice on how to deal with the million or so workers employed by the company, but let me assure you that there are, alas, far worse places in which to work in other countries. Or did you miss, e g, the NYT article on the recent Karachi garment factory fire that snuffed out hundreds of lives ? I realise that China-bashing has become a spectator sport in the United States, but it's still a good idea to get one's facts right...."

Please note the condescending language and general tone of arrogance, not too bad but still unwarranted and unappreciated. I wasn't trying to deflect the fact that I believe the working conditions in China are the worst in the world, rather I was commenting on the response that you had for comment that you disagreed with.  If after this you still feel that i'm being disingenuous then that unfortunately it is your problem.

Now lets address this comment;

"You also seem to be unwilling to recognise that bad as things are at Foxconn, they are far better there than in other industries, both in China"

Here is my response to that, I'll try to make it as clear as possible so that you can comprehend it. The title of the article that I posted was "Beyond Foxconn : Deplorable Working Conditions Characterize Apple's Entire Supply Chain" please note the part that is in bold because I think it clearly shows that I do recognize that there are worse places than Foxconn to find employment in China.

Here is the rest of that sentence and a little bit more;

"and elsewhere (e g, many textile factories in Bangladesh and Pakistan). Indeed, the conditions under which many sans papiers are forced to work - and who are often cheated of their wages - here in Sweden with its proud trade-union tradition (very much under attack) are in many ways worse than those at Foxconn), not to speak of those endured by the people from Romania or Thailand, etc, who, after loaning large sums of money to pay for the trip, are flown in by unscrupulous contractors during the berry season and who often find themselves without wages and forced to beg to keep body and soul together, before government at the local and national level is compelled to intervene and they are repatriated, with nothing to show for their efforts but bad memories and a mountain of debt."

Now my response to that is simple, you reap what you sow. If you're gonna work sans papiers then don't expect any civil rights or the law to be on your side. If a worker is naive enough to believe that everything is on the level when he/she is flown to another country without a passport or visa or sans papiers then I'm sorry but yes you just got taken advantage of and my heart does go out to you, but for those who knew they were doing something illegal I have no sympathy for you. These practices are terrible and really shouldn't happen, thank you for opening my eyes to these tragedies but again I'll point out the fact the fact that you stated;

"before government at the local and national level is compelled to intervene"  now that is what I am looking for in china. Some action against the working conditions that are being exposed in the media at Foxconn and other factories around china. This is the point that I have been trying to make from the beginning, not that china has the worst working conditions. Here are some examples of when I tried to get this across to you;

"First off I did not say that china has the worst working conditions"

"Also I know there probably are worse working conditions in many places around the globe......but in the case with Foxconn the whole world knows and still nothing major was done to change their practices."

"Multiple provinces and multiple factories under the same supply chain are causing the problem and it seems to me the government is turning a blind eye to it all. The report also comments on labor dispatching in China which sounds like a blatant lie to the people about their working conditions and area."

" This hasn't happened in relation to Foxconn and the other factories because like we both agree they play a huge part in China's economy."

If you still don't understand this once again that's your problem. 

Lastly I'm not sure if you were inferring that I'm an apple fanboy but just to be clear, I have shown some interest in some apple products because they do tend to have one or maybe two exciting features (a statement that I know I have posted on this site at least once, but since I now realize you have a problem with comprehension I decided to post it again) however I currently own 0 apple products and plan to buy none because I know there are superior alternatives. 

Please try not to be such a condescending d-bag when you reply to a comment you don't agree with, have some respect. Also if you are going to reply to a comment please make sure it is relevant to what is being discussed and not something that you dreamed up in your crazy mind. If you do have a reply to any of the comments I have made in the long post above, please feel free to express them. I however will not be continuing in this debate.

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A bit thin-skinned are you not, karanm ? You make statements which I point out are erroneous and then you attempt to weasel out of them and accuse me of «putting words in your mouth» and moreover announce that your are «gonna [sic !] hafta [sic !] spell things our [sic !]» for me as, you claim «[I  have a problem with comprehension». You have also permitted yourself to employ invective like «d-bag» in a discussion on a comment thread, always a sign of superior intelligence and maturity. I can fully understand why you have decided not to continue your participation in the discussion ; you have exposed yourself more than sufficiently as it is....

Henri

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