Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group, a contract manufacturer to Apple Inc. (AAPL: Quote), has reportedly closed a plant in China early Monday after a massive brawl broke out among 2,000 of its workers at a company dormitory.
According to media reports, a dispute between rival worker groups at the company dormitory on Sunday night escalated into a riot before security and local police brought the situation under control by 3 a.m. on Monday.
The fight is said to have left about 40 people hospitalized, while some employees were arrested.
The incident took place at Foxconn's plant in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan, where the company employs 79,000 workers. It was not clear whether Foxconn assembles Apple products at the facility.
According to Foxconn, automobile electronic components, consumer electronic components and precision moldings are manufactured at the facility. Foxconn is owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.
Foxconn reportedly said that it has halted production at the plant following the incident, but will resume activity at the plant on Tuesday. The company also noted that the dispute did not appear to be work-related.
Foxconn has recently come under heavy criticism for its labor policies.
Earlier this year, Foxconn workers in China reportedly staged a protest by threatening to jump off the roof of a building if the company did not meet their compensation demands. However, the dispute was said to have been resolved peacefully later.
An investigation by Fair Labor Association or FLA in late March on the working conditions at Foxconn found contravention of several Chinese labor laws, including excessive working hours, unpaid overtime and inferior safety conditions.
Foxconn has pledged to reduce hours and increase wages in the wake of accusations that it has violated labor laws. As a solution, the company agreed to enforce a reduction in working hours to 49 hours per week, including overtime, by July 1, 2013, without any change to pay.
The FLA, which surveyed three Foxconn plants and over 35,000 workers, found Foxconn to have violated at least 50 FLA code and Chinese labor laws. In January, Apple joined the FLA and agreed to uphold its Workplace Code of Conduct throughout their supply chains.
Apple was the first technology company to join the association, prompted mainly by worldwide criticism on the working conditions at its supplier.
On the Hong Kong stock exchange, Foxconn closed Monday's trading at HK$2.62, down HK$0.07 or 2.60 percent on a volume of 4.60 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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