Labor unrest in a Chinese factory.

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Foxxconn, a manufacturing giant producing US brands like Dell, Apple and HP, had to close one of its plants in China after labor unrest. As news media like REUTERS report, this incident is not the first.
 
At the Foxconn plant in Taiyuan, China, which is believed to produce the iPhone 5 for Apple, about 2,000 of the 79,000 workers employed battled police and security guards. It needed 5,000 police officers to quell the riot, several individuals were arrested and about 40 had to be admitted to hospital. The causes for the riot have still to be established, but there are two possible explanations. A company spokesperson said the incident escalated from a private dispute in one of the dormitories. However, several individuals, who want to stay anonymous, posted that a conflict between security guards beating workers started a conflict. This escalated into a riot after other workers, in acts of solidarity set fire to their beds and tossed them out of the windows. Foxxconn, the trading name of the Taiwanese Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. employs about 1 million people in China. In recent years the company has repeatedly made headlines for a series of suicides by workers and bad working conditions.
 
The incident is a reminder of the often violent struggles during the industrialization of the Western Hemisphere. Some commentators see in this riot the frustrated protest against bad labor conditions and a lack of dialogue between employees and employers. However, in contrast to the industrialization of the West in the 19th Century Chinese workers also live in their factories which can best be understood as privately run small cities. Whatever may have caused the unrest, nerves obviously are frayed for many people living in them.