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TAIPEI: Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles Apple’s iPhones and makes components for top global electronics companies, closed a plant in China yesterday after about 2,000 workers were involved in a brawl at a company dormitory.
It was not clear how long the shutdown would last at the plant, which employs about 79,000 people in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan, while police and company officials investigate the cause of the disturbance.
Foxconn said the trouble started with a personal row that blew up into a brawl. But some people posting messages on a Twitter-like site said factory guards had beaten workers and that sparked the melee.
“The plant is closed today for investigation,” Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo said. An employee contacted by telephone said the closure could last two or three days.
Pictures from just outside the plant showed broken windows at a building by an entrance gate and a line of olive-coloured paramilitary police trucks parked inside the factory grounds.
The unrest is the latest in a string of incidents at plants run by Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co and the world’s largest contract maker of electronic goods. Hon Hai’s Taipei-listed shares fell one percent yesterday in a broader market that rose 0.2 percent.
Drawing attention as a supplier and assembler for Apple products, the company has faced accusations of poor conditions and mistreatment of workers at its operations in China, where it employs about one million workers. The company has been spending heavily in recent months to improve working conditions and to raise wages.
Foxconn said in a statement the incident escalated from what it called a personal dispute between several employees at around 11pm on Sunday in a privately managed dormitory, and was brought under control by police at around 3am.