By Li Hongmei
Taiwan-based contract manufacturing giant Foxconn - also known as Hon Hai - has shot down allegations that three workers have died following separate mass brawls on Sept. 19 and Sept. 21.
Earlier reports spread online via netizens and were picked up by media outlets reporting three deaths, 20 serious injuries and dozens of minor injuries after two related incidents over the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday at the Foxconn plant in Yantai, a city in east China's Shandong province.
Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily reported on its website that around 200 bare-chested Foxconn workers from southwest China's Guizhou province rampaged through the Yantai staff dormitory on the evening of Sept. 19, carrying metal pipes and knives and attacking anyone from Shandong. A second attack occurred two days later on the morning of Sept. 21, where the Guizhou workers again swept through the dormitory as well as the cafeteria and internet cafe. More than a hundred people were reportedly arrested.
The reports claim that the attacks were sparked by a fight in the staff internet cafe between two couples, one from Guizhou and one from Shandong. When the owner of the cafe sided with the Shandong couple, the Guizhou couple allegedly gathered other Guizhou natives to stage a revenge attack.
On Monday, the official microblog of the Foxconn federation of trade unions posted an announcement on the incidents, explaining that there was indeed a mass brawl that was witnessed by up to 400 people on the evening of Sept. 19 and another incident on Sept. 21. However, the announcement said that the brawl was actually sparked by a disagreement between two groups during a unofficial staff gathering outside Foxconn grounds. There were no deaths or serious injuries and only 11 people sought medical treatment for minor injuries, the post said.
Foxconn is the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer in the world by revenues and is best known for producing Apple products such as iPods, iPhones and iPads.
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