Foxconn was forced to shut down its plant in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province Monday after a fight broke out among 2,000 of its workers late Sunday, leaving some 40 people injured, the Taiwan electronics giant said.
The brawl occurred at about 11 pm Sunday in a worker dormitory. Around 5,000 policemen were sent to the scene, and no one died, according to the Taiyuan police, Xinhua reported.
The fight was brought under control at around 3 am Monday morning, and local authorities are investigating the cause of the incident.
"Roads leading to the plant have been blocked and police cars are all over the nearby parking lots. Armed police and riot police have been sent to the scene to keep order," an employee with a human resources company for Foxconn at Taiyuan told the Global Times Monday.
The incident started with a dispute between two workers, and escalated into a riot when the plant's security guards approached and started beating workers, said the employee surnamed Fang.
Online pictures and videos taken at the scene showed that plant facilities were damaged, the windows of a police booth and a supermarket had been smashed and a police car had been overturned.
The cause of the dispute is under investigation, but it "appears not to have been work-related," said the Foxconn Technology Group in a statement.
"Workers told me it was a worker from Central China's Henan Province who stabbed a man from East China's Shandong Province and fled. Some Shandong workers who were watching were beaten by security guards and it finally turned into a fight between workers and security guards," Fang said, adding that security guards sometimes beat workers.
There are about 1,000 security guards in the plant, he said.
The 40 people injured, all male including three with serious injuries, received medical treatment at hospitals, said Taiyuan police, according to the Xinhua report.
The Taiyuan facility employs 79,000 people and manufactures automobile electronic components, consumer electronic components and precision moldings.
A previous riot among Foxconn workers was reported in June, when seven employees with Foxconn's Chengdu facility had a conflict with a restaurant owner after drinking, leading to a brawl that involved more than 100 people.
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