Foxconn workers in Juarez torch plant

February 21, 2010

Here’s a story that just won’t go away and the latest installment doesn’t have any upside for Apple even if the plant in question doesn’t make Apple products. In response to management’s purported underhanded efforts to make them work overtime without pay, workers are rumored to have set fire to their place of employment.

La Estrella (Spanish, Google translation) reports that Foxconn workers at a plant near Ciudad Juarez set fire, or so goes the rumor, to the facility in response to management’s attempt to force them to work overtime without compensation. It’s said managers told workers that their buses had been held up at military checkpoint and that they should keep working.

According to Gizmodo, the problem here being that the buses were actually sitting in the plant’s parking lot.

Over 3,000 people were evacuated from assembly plant, located on International Boulevard in the area of Jeronimo-Santa Teresa, on the border with New Mexico, USA, which manufactures computers and cellphones. The blaze consumed 40 to 50 meters of the facility’s gymnasium, kitchen and finished product storage areas.

“It was spectacular because it was very plastic and so far we have is the report that was intentional on the same staff,” said one of the firefighters.

In for a penny?

Foxconn has stayed in the headlines for several years based on disputes with rank-and-file workers and even the suspicious suicide of a junior product manager.

Late last year, Foxconn opened a Mexican plant where Apple products were expected to be produced.

Thereupon, one wonders, even if Apple wanted to, could they do without Foxconn?

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