Foxconn plant in China closed after riot, company says

SHANGHAI. Sep 24, 2012. Foxconn Technology, a major supplier to some of the world’s electronics giants, including Apple, said it closed one of its large Chinese plants early Monday after police were called in to break up a fight among factory employees.

One Foxconn employee reached by telephone Monday afternoon, however, said the disturbance began when workers started brawling with security guards, and eventually led to a huge riot involving more than 1,000 workers. Foxconn said no property was destroyed or damaged.

Unconfirmed photographs and video circulated on social networking sites, purporting to be from the factory, showed smashed windows, riot police and large groups of workers milling about. The Foxconn plant, in the central Chinese city of Taiyuan, employs about 79,000 workers.

China’s state-run news media said 5,000 police officers were called in to quell the riot.

The disturbance is the latest to hit Foxconn, a key supplier of products to Apple and other global electronics companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Microsoft.

Foxconn, which is part of the Hon Hai Group of Taiwan, has been struggling to improve labor conditions at its China factories after reports about labor abuse and work safety violations.

Apple and Foxconn have worked together in the last year to improve conditions, raise pay and improve labor standards.

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