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Apple supplier Foxconn shuts plant

Sep 24 2012 09:53 AFP

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Taipei - Electronics supplier Foxconn, which makes products for Apple and other tech firms, shut a factory in northern China on Monday following a brawl involving some 2 000 workers, officials said.

Around 40 people were injured in the incident at around 11:00 pm Sunday in a privately-managed dormitory for Foxconn workers at a factory in Taiyuan in northern Shanxi province, its parent company Hon Hai said in a statement.

"The facility was closed today, just today, in order for an investigation. It will be reopened tomorrow," Hon Hai spokesperson Simon Hsing said.

According to the statement, the incident started "as a personal dispute between several employees" and that local police brought the situation under control at around 3:00 am Monday morning.

"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," it said.

The company has come under the spotlight after suicides and labour unrest at its Chinese plants since 2010, which activists have blamed on tough working conditions.

In 2010, at least 13 Foxconn employees in China died in apparent suicides, which activists blamed on tough working conditions, prompting calls for better treatment of staff.

Foxconn rolled out a series of measures, including wage hikes and safety nets outside buildings, after the deaths and has been expanding its workforce in central China as it seeks to scale back the size of its Shenzhen plant.

Foxconn's Taiyuan plant employs 79 000 workers and manufactures automobile electronic components, consumer electronic components and precision moldings.

Foxconn is the world's largest maker of computer components and assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia.

Foxconn employs about one million workers in China, roughly half of them based in its main facility in Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong.


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