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Riot Breaks Out At Foxconn 456

Posted by timothy
from the make-inciteful-comments dept.
Presto Vivace writes with news (as reported by Engadget) of a riot at Foxconn's Taiyuan plant, reportedly over guards beating up a worker, and writes "Something is going on at Foxconn. Do any Slashdotters know of a good source for news about Chinese labor disputes?" Reports of the riot are also at Reuters, TUAW, and CNBC, to name a few.
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Riot Breaks Out At Foxconn

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  • Strange (Score:5, Funny)

    by rhavan (1755044) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:07PM (#41432985)
    I was trying to find the plant in question on IOS Maps, but I don't see it.
  • Srsly? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ugen (93902) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:11PM (#41433003)

    Yes, and slashdot readers are a great source of news from Chinese sweatshop plants because demographics are, like, so close.

  • Labor disputes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:14PM (#41433017)

    "Something is going on at Foxconn. Do any Slashdotters know of a good source for news about Chinese labor disputes?"

    This is China. There won't be any news.

  • Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AntiBasic (83586) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:15PM (#41433021)

    Who cares? I'm sitting in a coffee shop sipping on fairtrade coffee on blogging on my retina macbook pro about Obama and talking on my new iphone 5.

    Scumbag western liberals: claims to support the working class, gladly buys products from a communist dictatorship with an abysmal human rights record

    • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Informative)

      by ugen (93902) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:23PM (#41433071)

      Do you suggest that they stop using computers (or, in general, any electronics) completely? That would be "survivalists" then.

    • by Brannon (221550) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:28PM (#41433101)

      Western countries starting buying products made there?

      Maybe the Western countries aren't the problem. Maybe China is the problem.

      • Wait, wait, wait... what do you say there? China just plays by the rules of the free market, you see? They saw there's a market, they tapped into it, they provided goods cheaper than the competition.

        Free market good, don't you dare to question that!

    • by formfeed (703859) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:30PM (#41433131)

      I know dude!

      Here I am, buying cheap electronic components, and I know that by doing so I support a state
      where the police can arrest you if they don't like the way you look and your papers don't convince them that you are a good citizen.
      A place where any worker can just be fired and replaced without reason.
      A state, where workers have no right to organize and might even be arrested for trying.
      -But on the other hand, I like the cheap stuff I get from Arizona.

    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SwedishPenguin (1035756) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:45PM (#41433229)

      This has nothing to do with a "communist dictatorship" (though it should be noted that China is about as far from communism as can be), it has everything to do with companies in the wealthy part of the world using workers in poorer parts of the world as virtual slave labor. It is the epitome of capitalism, for owners to make as much money as possible simply by virtue of already having a lot of it, while paying their workers as little as they can possibly get away with.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It should be noted as well that China, although authoritarian, is not a dictatorship. Apparently people like to throw the "dictatorship" word too easily at anything that is not a democracy.

      • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jandersen (462034) on Monday September 24, 2012 @01:31AM (#41433901)

        This has nothing to do with a "communist dictatorship" ...

        Only too true.

        There is a strange irony to the fact that these abuses arise from a combination of the kind of corruption typical of pre-Communist China and unfettered Western-style Capitalism. And hasn't it always been one of the criticisms of Communism, that it stifles progress because nobody feel an incentive to work hard, when the state takes care of you even you are lazy to the bone?

        Some Americans in particular imagine that nobody could possibly feel genuinely happy with life under Communism. Well, apart from the "47% that feel they are victims", but they don't count, since they are "plebs", to quote one Tory MP. On that background it is strange that so many of those that sympathise with Socialism are well-educated high-achievers, while so many of the most conservative and reactionary are found amongst those with little or no education.

        • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Opportunist (166417) on Monday September 24, 2012 @04:17AM (#41434469)

          China should actually be the shining example of capitalism. A government that supports the creation of companies, while pretty much outlawing any and all labor unions and worker organisation, a bare minimum of worker protection (afaik you can't simply kill them if you don't like them anymore), no interference with your hiring, firing, paying or worker treatment policies...

          And STILL we're not happy. What more could we possibly want them to do to be good capitalists?

          • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by realityimpaired (1668397) on Monday September 24, 2012 @06:06AM (#41434879)

            They are the shining example of capitalism.... and the poster child for why neither unfettered communism nor unfettered capitalism is a system that works.

          • by arth1 (260657)

            And STILL we're not happy. What more could we possibly want them to do to be good capitalists?

            Give them guns, bibles and privatized healthcare?

            I think of China as a mega-corporation - much like the US would be if led by a single corporation instead of a small bunch of them.

            It's certainly not communism - they abandoned that idea when they embraced money instead of working to abolish it. It's not socialism either, after they turned their back on "to each according to his needs". I'd say it's ur-capitalism, also known as greed.

          • by Troy Roberts (4682) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:08AM (#41437141)

            I wonder why in many examples of capitalism, all markets are free except labor. If a nation is truly based on capitalist ideas, why not have a market for labor. In this case workers could band together and sell their labor to the highest bidder. For some reason, this is never considered a part of capitalism, which I believe is just a convenient inconsistency by the rich.

            Because China does not have a free labor market, it is not a shining example of capitalism. It is a shining example of the powerful taking advantage, which happens everywhere.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by artor3 (1344997)

      You need to stop basing your views on sitcom caricatures.

    • by Aardpig (622459)

      Obvious fake is obvious. No self-respecting liberal would sip coffee -- it *has* to be a latte!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by frosty_tsm (933163)

      Who cares? I'm sitting in a coffee shop sipping on fairtrade coffee on blogging on my retina macbook pro about Obama and talking on my new iphone 5.

      Scumbag western liberals: claims to support the working class, gladly buys products from a communist dictatorship with an abysmal human rights record

      You imply that only liberals buy Apple products. They also supply different Android and consumer electronics.

      Foxconn produces so much stuff that even buying an American pick-up or SUV is going to potentially have some of their components.

    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

      by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday September 24, 2012 @01:40AM (#41433949)

      Who cares? I'm sitting in a coffee shop sipping on fairtrade coffee on blogging on my retina macbook pro about Obama and talking on my new iphone 5.

      You do realize that Foxconn is the manufacturer of choice for quite a few PC (and tablet) manufacturers, including Acer, Dell, Toshiba, and Hewlett-Packard, don't you? And that they also manufacture the Playstation 3 and XBox 360, right? As well as Android phones for Motorola Mobility?

      I realize it's much easier to just pretend this is an Apple problem, though.

  • How Much (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sycodon (149926) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:25PM (#41433087)

    Makes me wonder how much an iPhone would cost to manufacture in the U.S. I wonder how automated the production line could be.

    • by Kenja (541830)
      In the long term I dont think it would cost a massive amount more. However there would be a large initial cost to setup a manufacturing center. The issue is not so much the labor costs but that we dont have manufacturing facilities here anymore.
      • Re:How Much (Score:5, Informative)

        by Guppy (12314) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @11:10PM (#41433365)

        The issue is not so much the labor costs but that we dont have manufacturing facilities here anymore.

        It's worse than that, we don't have the supply chains anymore.

        You might be able to manufacturer the large structural components and key high-value items here, but then you'd have to import tons of different little bits, individually too low value to spend money to rebuild the supply network, but numerous and specialized -- so you might as well pre-assemble big chunks of it there. At which point, you might as well assemble the whole thing there.

        I remember some old Slashdot poster that once related a story about trying to manufacturer some electronic device domestically. They had so much trouble sourcing some minor discrete component, that it turned out it was cheaper to buy finished consumer widgets from China, and salvage that one part to get what they needed.

      • Wow. The issue is not labor costs - but that we don;t have manufacturing facilities? Did it never occur to you to wonder why we don't have those facilities any more?

        How does disconnected-from-reality drivel like this get modded up?

        • Re:How Much (Score:5, Insightful)

          by shadowofwind (1209890) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:11AM (#41433671)

          Equipment costs have always dwarfed manufacturing labor costs in the IC industry. Government subsidized fab construction is a major reason it moved to Asia. And other production like assembling phones is cheaper closer to where the components are made.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126)

            And yet some big companies do manufacture high end equipment in high wage countries. Take Panasonic as an example. Their plasma TVs are made in Japan in a big high tech factory. They also make their laptops in Japan. Samsung manufacturers a lot of stuff in Korea, including phones and screens.

            China might be a bit cheaper and is now competitive on quality, but what it really boils down to is making an extra few cents profit on a high value product.

      • Re:How Much (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Aryden (1872756) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @11:58PM (#41433617)
        also the huge issue with the fact that China has the largest piles of rare earth minerals that are commonly used in electronic components. Getting them to export them, which they have already banned in some cases, to us so that we can take jobs out of their economy would be tantamount to declaring war on them.
  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:39PM (#41433187) Homepage

    Do any Slashdotters know of a good source for news about Chinese labor disputes?

    I am sure, Foxconn, Apple, CIA, Chinese Communist Party and Dalai Lama have plenty to say about those things. Or, by "good" you mean something that is not pure spin? Then no.

  • by guttentag (313541) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:40PM (#41433195) Journal
    It was on the front page of the NY Times earlier, but has since been buried here [nytimes.com].

    Key points:
    • The plant has 79,000 workers, makes parts for automotive electronics and "assembles various electronic devices" including the iPhone 5 (yeah, I know, so what... but you know that's what everyone wants to know out of morbid curiosity and how this might relate to them)
    • As many as a thousand workers may have been involved, but the fight took place at the company's dormitories, not in the factory itself
    • 10 people injured, no one killed
  • But I thought... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tough Love (215404) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:46PM (#41433235)

    But I thought Apple told us they made it all right and everything is good at Foxconn. We can believe what Apple tells us, can't we?

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @10:54PM (#41433279)

    Sounds like old days in USA where workers faced the same work conditions.

    They need real workers rights fast or soon the workers may just burn the factory down.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      no, no they do not

      the chineese factories rely on on near slave labor, the US makers can do nearly the same cost per unit with high levels of automation

      robots do no rebel, no matter what jizztastic si-fi fan fict you read, and you dont have to stay up till 3 am to talk to some low level dumbass who speaks 3 words of english cause your getting screwed over

  • by Aardpig (622459) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @11:01PM (#41433305)

    Chairman Yang would approve.

  • by SeaFox (739806) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @11:08PM (#41433361)

    Something is going on at Foxconn. Do any Slashdotters know of a good source for news about Chinese labor disputes?

    Drat! If only there was someone on the scene with a smartphone with a really good camera and fast data connection!

    • by jsse (254124)

      Something is going on at Foxconn. Do any Slashdotters know of a good source for news about Chinese labor disputes?

      Drat! If only there was someone on the scene with a smartphone with a really good camera and fast data connection!

      Actually the first batch of video footages are taken by civilians with their smartphones, rather than news reporters coming to the scenes promptly with their flashy video camera. That is the only real trusty news source nowaday in China. Sad, very sad.

    • Drat! If only there was someone on the scene with a smartphone with a really good camera and fast data connection!

      You mean like an Android Lenovo 750? Hopefully, that person had the presence of mind to steal someone else's phone before taking and posting pictures for everyone to see, because otherwise he certainly doesn't seem to be covering his tracks very well. [engadget.com]

  • Reports differ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @11:14PM (#41433393)

    The guys at wehateapple.com are saying it's the worst thing in history and that Apple will finally get what's coming to them for all teh evils. But the guys at appleisgreat.com are saying it's no big deal and stuff like this happens all the time.

    Meanwhile, the guys at mindyourownbusiness.com don't have a report about it at all, but they do have some good reports that seem relevant to my own life. At mindsomeoneelsesbusiness.com, they're extremely interested in whether African tribes that make their own beer are at a greater risk for gout from too much yeast and they think it's the fault of the US government for some reason.

    At newsfornerds.com, they're just trolling for clicks, so they put up a story with no information to get Apple haters and Apple fanboys sniping at each other. Later, they'll be posting stories about evolution, Mitt Romney's failure to announce any female cabinet members, an ask newsfornerds.com question about whether Dragon Age 3 will be more heterosexual-friendly than Dragon Age 2, and a statement from RMS about how the government should stop paying school teachers because they should be sharing their knowledge for free.

  • The truth is (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jsse (254124) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @11:16PM (#41433407) Homepage Journal
    "a fight among workers from different production lines,"

    From the local news "" Translation: Foxconn security started the fight, which triggered riots in Shandong and Henan.

    How could this become "a fight among workers" in international news I wondered.

    The only thing international news coverage is correctly accounted for is that the root cause is still a mystery, but we would imagine it should be more along the line of suppression under high working pressure.
    • "a fight among workers from different production lines,"

      Sadly, this fight was just the latest round in the war between Apple and Google. Production line 1 were the Foxconn workers building the iPhone 5, while production line 2 make Android phones for Motorola Mobility. Conflict was inevitable.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Sunday September 23, 2012 @11:25PM (#41433455) Journal

    If the Chinese aren't careful, they're going to have a communist revolution on their hands.

    Sorry, I might have trotted that one out before; but it has fit so perfectly the past decade or so.

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Monday September 24, 2012 @06:03AM (#41434859)
    The workers rioted trying to reduce the 25 hour work day to 24 hours.

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