Foxconn denies strike at Zhengzhou plant

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 October, 2012, 6:14pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 October, 2012, 11:21am

Electronics parts giant Foxconn denied reports on Saturday that thousands of workers went on strike at one of its plants in central China and halted production of components for Apple's iPhone 5.

The Taiwan-based company acknowledged in a statement that two isolated labour disputes erupted at its plant in Zhengzhou on October 1 and 2, but said they were immediately addressed and that production of the iconic phones continued.

Foxconn was responding to a report by the New York-based China Labour Watch which said between 3,000 and 4,000 workers went on strike on Friday. They are striking against company demands for an increase in product quality levels and that staff work through a national holiday.

The disputes marked the latest unrest to hit Foxconn, whose factories in China have been beset by a string of worker suicides in recent years, and followed a massive brawl at one facility last month.

"Any reports saying there has been an employee strike are inaccurate. There has been no workplace stoppage in that facility nor any other Foxconn facility and production has continued on schedule," the Foxconn statement said.

"Employees at all our operations in China who have worked during the China national holidays, have done so voluntarily and is supported by written documentation and any reports to the contrary are inaccurate."

The China Labour Watch, citing workers at the plant, said the work stoppage resulted in "a state of paralysis" at multiple iPhone 5 production lines.

Foxconn is the world's largest maker of computer components and assembles products for Apple, Sony, Intel and Nokia, among others.

Its vast plants in China employ up to 1.2 million workers, with nearly half of them at a sprawling complex in Shenzhen, in the south of the country.

Last month, around 5,000 police were deployed to control a huge brawl among workers at a Foxconn plant in the northern city of Taiyuan, where 79,000 people make items including electronic components for cars and consumer products.

In 2010, at least 13 Foxconn employees in China died in apparent suicides, which activists blamed on tough working conditions, prompting calls for better treatment of staff.