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Report: Riots Break Out at Foxconn Factory – 10 Reported Dead

Report: Riots Break Out at Foxconn Factory – 10 Reported Dead

Reports say that a riot broke out at Foxconn’s Taiyuan, China plant on Sunday. Over 2,000 employees were involved, and it took more than 5,000 police officers several hours to bring the disturbance under control.

Cult of Mac:

Although many were injured, it was first thought that there were no deaths. Unfortunately the riot was much worse than initially reported, and ten workers have now been pronounced dead, according to reports.

The CPCW, via Chinese blog MIC Gadget, says the disturbance has resulted in ten deaths, and the plant has now been closed for at least three days while investigations take place. Foxconn has denied that were any fatalities.

“We can confirm that there have been no employee deaths related to the incident which took place at an employee dormitory in Taiyuan last night. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate,” the company said in a statement.

The plant employs more than 79,000 people, and specializes in assembly of manufactured components and stamping metal. It is currently producing the aluminum rear panels for Apple’s iPhone 5. Reports say at least one production line was damaged during the riot.

This is the same plant that workers rioted at back in March. MIC Gadget claims the plant is notorious for its strict overtime requirements, which are reportedly forced upon it workers, although the biggest complaint has been about the abusive security personnel, which is said to be the cause of Sunday night’s riot.

Sources indicate that a security guard hit a Foxconn worker, which angered more of the workers, who then began to beat up the security guard, and others who had tried to intervene. The hired security force was quickly overwhelmed, and called for backup.

Gang members from Shandong and Henan became involved in the fight when the news spread, and it was 3 AM by the time the 5,000 police officers brought the riot under control.

Employee cellphones were confiscated and erased, and around 100 people were arrested. Microblogging site Sina Weibo was forced by Chinese authorities to remove photographs and videos of the incident from their site.

Many workers were trampled as they fled form the riot site, and it’s reported that around 40 people are now in local hospitals with injuries, although it is suspected the actual number may be larger.

With the plant closed for three days, and at least one production line damaged, it’s possible that production delays of the iPhone 5 could get worse before things improve.

UPDATED (09/24/2012):

Foxconn said Monday it will resume operations Tuesday following the riot involving 2,000 people that sent 40 to the hospital. In a statement, the manufacturer denied anyone died or that the uprising was work-related.

“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,” the company said in a statement provided CNET.