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The scene of the crime   (Source: csmonitor.com)
According to Foxconn, the brawl doesn't appear to be work-related

Foxconn Technology Group was forced to temporarily close down one of its plants in China due to a 2,000-person brawl amongst employees. 
 
Foxconn, which assembles electronic devices such as Apple's iPhone, had approximately 2,000 workers engage in a physical fight within a dormitory that is ran by another company. The fight broke out around 11 p.m. and was brought under control by the police at around 3 a.m. 
 
According to Bloomberg, 40 workers were hospitalized while an unidentified number were arrested. As a result, Foxconn has closed the Taiyuan plant for an unspecified amount of time.
 
"We want to give people time to cool down," said Louis Woo, spokesman for Taipei-based Foxconn. 
 
Foxconn is currently investigating what caused the fight. According to Reuters, those close to the situation tweeted that factory guards had beaten the workers -- thus sparking the huge brawl. One tweet even said that four or five guards almost beat a worker to death. But this hasn't been confirmed yet, and Union representatives will be sent to the dormitory today to check it out.
 
"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," said Foxconn. 
 
Foxconn can't seem to catch a break. The company came under fire earlier this year when The New York Times published a massive article on the working conditions of Foxconn factories. Apple was also targeted because the report mentioned Apple's lack of action when receiving reports on these poor working environments. 
 
Bloomberg said the dormitory isn't operated by Foxconn, but the electronics assembly company will still likely catch a lot of heat for the issue. An analyst mentioned that lost manufacturing time could be made up with overtime -- a major issue regarding employee abuse in the Foxconn factories. 
 
In addition to overtime/pay issues, Foxconn factories have provided unsafe working environments for employees, too. The plants have had two recent explosions due to the collection of aluminum dust from polishing workshops. Employee suicides also became a serious issue for Foxconn, where anti-suicide nets had to be installed. 

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg





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