More Foxconn Woes: Huge Fight Breaks Out

Images show men carrying pipes; unconfirmed deaths reported
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2013 12:21 PM CDT
More Foxconn Woes: Huge Fight Breaks Out
Visitors to a job fair walk past the Foxconn recruitment area in Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong province.   (AP Photo, File)

Foxconn may not be in the news like it once was, but not for lack of woes, it seems. The company revealed that a major fight erupted Thursday at a Foxconn campus in eastern China, and the firm says 11 people were injured. The fighting reportedly started as workers drank to mark a public holiday, the Mid-Autumn Festival. Pictures on social media show dozens of shirtless men carrying pipes and sticks, the Wall Street Journal reports. Unconfirmed reports say three people died, and ZDNet puts the number of those injured badly enough to require hospitalization at 27.

The company characterized the feud as "of a personal nature," but ZDNet reports a conflict between provinces. The tech site says more than 200 armed workers from Guizhou province targeted dormitories at the Yantai campus, in Shandong province; they reportedly chanted, "Beat all that are from Shandong." Either way, labor activists are speaking out after a summer that, the Journal notes, saw 183 strikes and protests at Chinese factories in general; that's double last year's tally. "Large-scale fights simply do not break out at well-run factories with a contented and well-paid workforce," says one activist. The fight comes nearly a year to the day after a massive riot at another Foxconn factory. (More Foxconn stories.)

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