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Foxconn re-opens plant after Sunday brawl

Foxconn faced a lot of flak in 2010 after a string of 13 suicides by employees at the company’s plants in southern China.

Production has resumed at a Foxconn factory in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan after rioting by employees on Sunday night forced the establishment to close.

Work was suspended at Foxconn, after a 2,000-person brawl escalated into larger-scale unrest.

It took 5,000 police officers nearly four hours to break up the scuffle between factory workers that resulted in 40 hospitalizations and a number of arrests.

A representative of the company told Reuters that the one-day operational shutdown would have no affect on supply to clients.

Louis Woo, a spokesman for the Taipei-based company said, “Overall it probably won’t be significant because this factory mainly does a lot of components, auto electronics, consumer electronics and precision molding and not finished products.

“If we lose just one day, I don’t expect it will impact any finished goods significantly and, with overtime, we could make up any shortfall.”

Foxconn that employs about 1.1 million workers in China has been criticized for poor pay packages, appalling working and living conditions at its dormitory housing.

Sunday’s scuffle
The Foxconn facility employs about 79,000 workers. While the precise reason for the unrest is ambiguous and under investigation it is believed to be linked to regional rivalries and not work.

The Sunday night clash was sparked by a confrontation between a factory worker and a guard at the dormitory. The personal dispute soon intensified into full fledged fighting between workers from different provinces.

Though the authenticity of the images has not be verified, photographs and video circulated on social networking sites from the plant showed chaos, smashed windows, police and crowds thronging. However, no property was reportedly destroyed or damaged.

Foxconn under scrutiny over working conditions
Foxconn is the main supplier of computer components to Apple and other tech giants including Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Microsoft.

The company that employs about 1.1 million workers in China has been criticized over the past few years for poor pay packages, appalling working and living conditions at its dormitory housing. Foxconn has also been accused of labor abuse and work safety violations.

Foxconn faced a lot of flak in 2010 after a string of 13 suicides by employees at the company’s plants in southern China. The company was forced to increase wages and construct safety nets on the roofs of the factory buildings to prevent people jumping off.