Category: Tech / Sci / October 9, 2012 1:33 PM EDT
Opinions were divided among workers over conditions at a Foxconn factory in central China after a report that the plant was crippled by a large-scale strike late last week.
China Labor Watch, a New York-based advocacy group, reported that 3,000 to 4,000 workers went on strike at the complex in central China on Friday, angered by controls as well as demands they work through the week-long National Day holiday, which began on Monday.
The Taiwanese made-to-order electronics giant that assembles Apple Inc's products denied reports of a strike, saying on Saturday that the plant suffered only two brief and small disputes several days earlier.
Foxconn also said that employees who worked over China's National Day holiday break did so voluntarily and were paid three times their usual hourly compensation, as demanded by law.
But China's official Xinhua news agency quoted a government spokesman in Zhengzhou as saying some 100 quality inspectors at Foxconn refused to work for an hour on Friday after one was allegedly beaten by workers irate over the inspection demands.
Tensions have boiled over repeatedly in factories operated by Foxconn, leading to accusations of poor working conditions.
The report came after thousands rioted at Foxconn's Taiyuan facility in northern China last month, disrupting production for about 24 hours and underscoring the potential for labour unrest.
In response to accusations of poor working conditions, Apple has organized an audit of factory conditions, raised wages, improved safety and reduced overtime, among other measures.
Apple's chief executive officer Tim Cook visited Foxconn's vast complex on the far outskirts of Zhengzhou in late March.
Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory seemed to be operating normally on Monday, and no workers who spoke to Reuters could confirm there had been a strike.