Thousands involved in Chinese factory fight

Foxconn Technology Group has closed a factory at Taiyuan in China’s Shanxi province after a fight among workers broke out and had to be brought under control.

"We want to give people time to cool down," Louis Woo, spokesman for Taipei-based Foxconn, said.

Foxconn employs more than a million Chinese workers and is a major supplier to electronics companies, including Apple.

Mr Woo would not confirm whether parts for Apple's iPhone 5 were made at the facility in question, which employs 79,000 people to make consumer electronics, components, and precision moulding for devices including mobile phones.

A fight between rival worker groups at a dormitory operated by an outside company broke out at about 11pm last night and escalated to involve as many as 2000 people before security and policy brought the situation under control four hours later, Woo said. Some workers were detained by police, he said, without giving details.

The fight’s cause was not immediately clear, while Foxconn is assisting a police investigation of the matter, Woo said. Union representatives will be sent to the site today to discuss the situation with workers.

Chairman Terry Gou, who founded the maker of iPhones, Sony Corp. PlayStations and Hewlett-Packard Co. computers in 1974, was briefed on the situation and agreed with management’s decision to shut the factory for the day, Woo said.

Foxconn, whose flagship is Taipei-listed Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., employs more than 1.2 million people globally with most of its workforce in China as well as factories in Brazil and Mexico.

with Bloomberg

The story Thousands involved in Chinese factory fight first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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