Apple has promised to clean up the horrid living and working conditions at Foxconn factories in China but those conditions have remained miserable and on Monday night the agnry feelings of Foxconn employees spilled over into outright riots.
The riot began when security guards for the company were attempting to stop a thief. Workers used that window to start a scuffle which eventually led to more than 1,000 workers joining in. The riot got so out of hand that security guards had to call in local law enforcement to wrangle the employees.
The riot which led to hundreds of arrests and lasted more than two hours caused damage to company property as employees threw trash cans, pots and even fireworks from the building’s top floors.
Workers are upset over promises Apple has failed to enforce, for example workers are still often forced to work 80 hours of overtime each month and up to 30 workers live in three-bedroom flats supplied by the company.
In an interview with 170 Foxconn employees most said “intimidation and long hours” are still the “norm” at the manufacturer and when plant managers are angry over a workers performance they will often punish them and then force the employee to write a public “confession letter.”
This most recent riot occurred at Foxconn’s Chengdu plant in Sichuan province, that particular factory produces liquid crystal displays for electronic products, including the displays used for Apple’s iPhone. You may recall that it was the Chengdu factory that experienced an explosion in May 2012, killing two workers and injuring 16 others.