Riot in Foxconn's Chengdu factory; dozens arrested

Riot in Foxconn's Chengdu factory; dozens arrested

Summary: A standoff Monday night between workers and security in Foxconn's Chengdu factory escalated into a riot, according to local news reports.

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TOPICS: Security
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Disputes between workers and security staff in Foxconn's Chengdu factory turned into a thousand-people riot on Monday evening, according to a Ming Pao report.

The Hong Kong-based newspaper said that workers felt that they were underpaid by the company and treated poorly by its security staff. Foxconn currently pays workers approximately $1.50 per hour; some work 76 hours per week, 11 days at a time.

The company supplies Apple, Samsung, Sony and other major global electronics manufacturers.

Thousands of workers in the southwest dormitory of the factory in central China went haywire. Angry workers fought with security staff and dorm administrators indicated they were investigating incidents of theft. The workers succeeded in beating back security, driving them from the building, as others joined in by chanting, throwing empty beer bottles off the building's roof, sabotaging dorm equipment and igniting firecrackers.

More than a hundred riot police were called to the scene; several dozens of workers were placed under arrest by 11 p.m. The government also called in private security forces to help "stabilize the situation," according to a local security company.

"We went upstairs with the policemen and arrested those mobs, it was exciting," a member of Foxconn's security staff said from his Weibo account. (Weibo is a popular microblogging service in China that is similar to Twitter.)

The Chengdu Municipal Police Authority said from its official Weibo account that four Foxconn workers were detained overnight for fighting with some restaurant owners. No one was hurt in that incident.

Photo: MyDrivers.com

Topic: Security

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47 comments
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  • This simply can't be true

    We keep hearing from the Apple fanbois that every foxconn worker is tremendously happy with the privilege of making Apple's stuff.
    toddbottom3
    • I must admit, I can't recall that argument

      Usually they try to disassociate Foxconn from Apple by pointing out (correctly, albeit usually obnoxiously) that Apple isn't the only patron of Foxconn.
      Aerowind
      • It is hard to keep track of their shifting arguments

        - When Foxconn workers are unhappy then yes, all Foxconn workers are a generic pool of people working on generic assembly lines making generic parts, some of which end up in Xboxes, some end up in iPhones. There are no high security sections where workers are beaten if they are suspected of leaking an App... um... a client secret.

        - When that generic pool of Foxconn workers are happy, it is because Apple is telling Foxconn management to make them happy. Suddenly, Apple is the only client.

        - When it comes time to justifying why Apple products are godly, the generic pool of workers and assembly lines suddenly don't exist. Suddenly, there are special high security, high quality parts of Foxconn where only Apple products are made and workers are beaten... um... encouraged not to talk to anyone outside the Apple assembly line.
        toddbottom3
      • By the way, there is no proof that that specific in-land factory had ...

        @toddbottom3: ... anything to do with Apple.

        One hearsay suggest that, but this is a display assembly line, and matrices for Apple's displays are all done in the south china, or in Taiwan, or in Korea. No point to move those components thousands miles away from main assembly factories and places of matrices manufacturing.
        DDERSSS
      • You're so wrong, toddbottom3

        Foxconn's Chengdu factory was dedicated for manufacturing iPad and iPhone components, not just "generic parts". As a matter of fact, it was one of the two very same factory that exploded last year.

        When Foxconn said they were increasing base salary, apparently it only happened to Shenzhen but not Chengdu Factory due to FLA inspection. So workers felt they were not treated equally.

        While it wasn't Apple's fault directly, it was imply that there was a long standing conflict caused by Foxconn CEO demand quick turn around for building the factory for Apple and that caused huge stress for local workers and government. So yes, Apple's demand for quick turn around also plays a huge part in this conflict.

        Unlike you, I do read Chinese. So instead of making stuff up like "generic pool", I'd just give you the source and you can do the translation if you want:
        http://tech.ifeng.com/it/detail_2012_06/08/15142249_0.shtml
        http://finance.sina.com.cn/roll/20120608/103512260539.shtml
        Samic
      • Samic: reread my post, I'm making fun of dumb Apple fanbois

        I'm making fun of how Apple fanbois change their facts based on how it makes Apple look.
        toddbottom3
      • The human cost of efficiency

        Sorry toddbottom3 my sarcasm filter is totally broken today.

        But I agree that Apple fans' shifting argument is quite incredible. If China's working conditional is so good comparing to everywhere in the world then where is the fast turnaround efficiency come from? Somehow our Chinese people work faster?

        Apple Fans loves Apple stuffs, I get it. But it doesn't make them more holier than other company, like Dell or Microsoft that contracted Foxconn. I have seen some fanbois even go so far to make Foxconn looks good, and that was just delusional.
        Samic
    • Actually

      We keep hearing that it is better than a lot of places as though that somehow makes it okay. :-)
      slickjim
      • It actually does.

        I've commented on these stories before and i'm going to say it again. Unless you've been there and have seen first hand where most of these folks come from and the "other" factories and those working conditions, you aren't qualified to comment on stories such as this (I have).

        Mind you, I'm not saying you can't comment. BUT, we're too busy projecting our western ideas of pay and prosperity to properly understand what the situation is like there.

        It DOES make it OK. Not everyone gets to live the "First world" life that we enjoy. If you believe that everyone should, feel free to donate part of your salary to a 3rd world individual to help them get to your level. If you don't want to do that, don't force it on the rest of us. That's what people are essentially doing when they say, "pay the workers more", "they deserve more", etc. etc. That money comes from somewhere and it's a cost that gets passed on to the first world consumer.

        It's business, not a social structure project.

        Just a thought.

        D
        dwcfastrice
      • Relativity

        It is less that it makes it okay, and more that it makes your hand waving and gnashing of teeth, and crying about it not only misdirected, but a tad bit hypocritical. Not to mention pointless.
        .DeusExMachina.
    • King of the straw man

      You are indeed the King of the Straw Men.
      You keep hearing that? Where? Post links.
      I call you out to post a citation.
      Waiting....
      .DeusExMachina.
    • It's funny how

      you ABAers say that Apple is the only one that uses Foxconn when something negative comes to light and oh so conveniently ignore the rest of the companies that use Foxconn. And you also oh so conveniently forget that Apple is the one that did the third party audit that caught the violations you like to blame Apple for.

      This however is a new argument from you - I have yet to hear an Apple fanboi say anything about how Foxconn workers should be happy about working on Apple's products - and as someone else pointed out there is no way to determine at this time if this particular factory is even involved with Apple.
      NonFanboy
      • Haters lie

        Haters will lie whenever they need to and some of the above posters are well know liars around here. Not that somebody on the other side of the debate won't lie but hate tends to make people sink to lower levels.
        non-biased
  • Fight the power!

    Nope, open up an Xbox 360, and you will see "Foxconn" written on the metal case.

    It's good to see them standing up for themselves. Pity they live in China where rebellions and protests are met with live fire and tanks.
    Theory5
    • I don't get something

      If China's workers are supposedly more educated than American workers (this is the happy-face argument that manufacturers use to validate using China for manufacturing - but we all know it's about labour cost), why aren't more going to school for political sciences to join the Communist party so as to work on changing state policies?
      Joe_Raby
      • One doesn't join the Communist Party...

        ...to help change its policies. The very last thing such an institution wants is a bunch of malcontents who think they know better than the Communist sages, past and present, who formulated the current party line.
        John L. Ries
      • not quite

        You can't just "join the party". It doesn't work that way. The party only accepts top tier students. Top tier students don't end up in low level manufacturing jobs.

        I've never heard the "happy-face argument" that you speak of. I HAVE heard the labor cost argument used plenty.

        D
        dwcfastrice
  • Amazing

    It seems that computer-obsessed fanboys can take anything and turn it into an excuse to grind and axe for or against the particular brands that they worship or hate. Get a grip, people. This is about real life, not your silly computing devices. This is a classic example of what you get when corporations are allowed to do whatever they please with no regulation. Foxconn can treat its employees like interchangeable widgets because they employees have no rights and because an autocratic state insures that they can't exercise any. If they had the right to form an independent union, the story might be different.
    the_doge
    • Not only Private corporations

      Just take a look at how the civil employees are treated by some state governments who are union busting
      Billie Bob
      • Your kidding right?

        Do you honestly think that civil employees here in the US are treated even remotely the same as workers at Foxconn? It's two different worlds and while in general the Foxconn employee's are treated better than the workers in a larger percentage of other Chinese factories they are not treated nearly as well as the civil employees here in the US. Though that is what you said I think you are just a union loyalist trying to make your case against a state government trying to get rid of the union. It's alright by people like you for the unions to come in a crush companies/industries with their demands but god forbid anybody pushes back and tries to get rid of the unions.
        non-biased