Foxconn is a Taiwan-based company owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. In fact, it is the world’s largest assembler for consumer electronics products, and employs nearly 1.2 million semi-skilled and non-skilled workers for its factories located across Taiyuan (one of the leading industrial hubs in Shenzhen), Chengdu in west parts and in Zhengzhou areas of Central China. One of the major groups that Foxconn assembles products for is iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc, and also Microsoft Corporation’s products as well as Hewlett-Packard Company products.
Foxconn’s workers discontent has roots
China’s young unskilled and semi-skilled workforce working in factories such as Foxconn and others have so far led the golden age of Chinese growth. However, in the past couple of years these uneducated youth from rural China who were mostly uneducated now have evolved with higher aspirations and are not satisfied with just higher wages and seek better stakes.
While this discontent persists across other factories of the region, Foxconn’s problems catch public attention quickly given its larger size and the company’s it partners. Foxconn in 2010 faced several suicide deaths by employees and has to resort to nets and other options.
Cause of fight at Taiyuan
News of the immediate cause of the massive fight appear to differ: One report suggests that it was a confrontation between a worker and a guard, while others believe it was much larger, occurring between several workers from different production lines.
The fight precipitated into a 2000-strong hold-out because of the unprofessional manner in which Foxconn guards and managers treated workers.
While speaking to the press one employee states that, “At Foxconn, some supervisors, and security guards never respect us. We all have this anger toward them and (the workers) wanted to destroy things to release this anger.” Besides, these workers were under tremendous pressure, comment Associated Press reports, to meet deadlines for iPhone 5 components such as the ‘uni-body back plate.’
No injuries, will resume production
After the incident, news reports indicate that close to 2,000 employees and more than 40 people were injured in the brawl. The statement issued by Foxconn post the brawl, on Monday, declared there were no employee deaths during the incident and that production would begin immediately.
While there are reports to the contrary that over 40 people were injured during the fight. According to Radio Asia Free, injuries were reported but the official statement from Foxconn makes no mention of it. However, Foxconn has not made any announcements on the one-day shut down on Tuesday and if it will lead to crisis in supply.