1,000 staff at a Foxconn partner’s plants went on strike over the weekend, causing yet more problems for the company and drawing the attention of rights groups.
According to a statement by Hong Kong’s rights group Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), staff at the Fengcheng plant, run by Foxconn’s supplier – Jiangxi Xin Hai Yang Precision Components – took the action over demands for a wage increase.
The workers took to the streets in the Jiangxi province, where the plant is located, and blocked a main road to get their voices heard.
Riot police were called in, and SACOM claims they used water cannons and physical violence to suppress the strikers.
SACOM condemned the actions, claiming if Foxconn spent as much time addressing the grievances of its workers as it did on PR, strikes wouldn’t be necessary.
The group also pointed out that there was no “genuine worker representative system at Foxconn to respond to the workers’ sentiment”.
Foxconn admitted to the incident, describing it as a “workplace issue” – which strikes generally tend to be – but pointed out that the dispute was not at a factory that it ran.
However, it said that, in keeping with its “desire” to see suppliers address workplace problems in a responsible manner, it had asked the management of the plant to work with its employees and local government representatives to resolve their concerns.
Meanwhile, Foxconn may have racked up more trouble for itself in the corporate sphere.
According to the New York Times, the company has confirmed that Chinese authorities are delving into its business, following allegations that at least one executive accepted bribes.
The furore surrounded an executive at Foxconn’s operation in Shenzhen, who had been slapped with the cuffs after being accused of asking for bribes from suppliers.
Foxconn concluded that its internal investigation had unearthed some illegal wheeling and dealing in the supply chain, and these findings had been passed onto Chinese authorities.
The company said it will carry out a full review of its policies to ensure this isn’t repeated.