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Police resolve disruption by Foxconn workers

By Huang Yuli, Li Yu and Huang Zhiling (China Daily)

08:24, June 08, 2012

The local government on Thursday denied that a riot at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu on Monday night was due to worker dissatisfaction with wages and company management.

According to a statement on scol.com, a website affiliated with the publicity department of Sichuan province, the riot was triggered by a conflict between seven Foxconn workers and a restaurant owner.

The statement said seven workers at the Foxconn factory in Chengdu had dinner in a restaurant near their dormitory at about 10:30 pm on Monday.

Driven by the effects of alcohol, the workers began to damage facilities in the restaurant with wine bottles because they thought the quarrel between the restaurant owner and his wife had ruined their dining mood, the statement said.

The restaurant owner then got into a conflict with the workers and a customer called police. Seeing this, the Foxconn workers began to run back to their dormitory building, shouting "they are beating us", the statement said.

The chaos attracted about 100 workers in Foxconn's dormitory who later threw things like bottles of mineral water downstairs, which started the riot, according to the statement.

Community management workers and police officers arrived at the scene and held four workers for one night and sent them back to their dormitory rooms the next morning.

No one was injured in the incident, according to the provincial government statement.

However, according to a report by Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao, about 1,000 Foxconn workers were involved in the riot, with many injured and more than 10 arrested. It said the reason was worker dissatisfaction with wages and the company's management of dormitory rooms.

The report said the riot lasted from 9:30 pm to 11 pm on Monday, when dormitory room management workers and security guards went into a dorm room to investigate a theft. Because the security guards had been rude for a long time, some workers began to kick up a row and drive the guards away. Some workers threw trash cans, beer bottles and basins out of window, and even set off firecrackers, the report said.

Foxconn's spokesman Liu Kun told China Daily on Thursday that the incident was caused by several staff of an associated factory of Foxconn, not the Foxconn Chengdu factory.

He said they got drunk in a small restaurant and began to throw things and someone called the police.

He said the Sichuan government is handling the case, not Foxconn. He denied rumors it was a clash over wages or dorms.

"Foxconn is cooperating with local law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident," the company said in an e-mail to China Daily on Thursday.

Foxconn Chengdu factory supplies parts for Apple's iPhone and iPad.

An explosion occurred in the factory in May last year, killing two workers and injuring 16 others.

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