1K Workers Riot at Foxconn

Conditions still terrible, despite Apple's initiative
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2012 8:40 AM CDT
1K Workers Riot at Foxconn
In this May 26, 2010 file photo, staff members work on the production line at the Foxconn complex in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, southern China.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

(Newser) – Dozens were arrested Monday night after a riot broke out at a dormitory in Foxconn's factory in Chengdu. The trouble started when security guards were called to stop a thief, an opening other workers used to start a scuffle, the Taiwan-based Want China Times reports. Before long, up to a thousand workers had joined in, battling security guards, destroying company property, and throwing trash cans, pots, and even fireworks from the building's top floors. Hundreds of police were called in, and the riot was quashed after two hours.

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Why might workers want to riot? Well, conditions at the factory are still miserable, despite Apple's assurances that it's working to improve them, according to a new report from a Hong Kong worker's rights group. Intimidation and long hours "remain the norm," according to 170 employees interviewed, with overtime hitting 80 hours a month, the Guardian reports. Up to 30 workers are forced to live in a three-bedroom flat. Managers routinely punish workers who displease them, forcing them to write public "confession letters." (Read more Foxconn stories.)

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