As Apple Inc.( NASDAQ:AAPL) reports record-breaking sales of its new iPhone 5, its major supplier Foxconn is once again making news for all the wrong reasons.
Some 2,000 Foxconn employees in China staged a riot in a company dormitory Sunday night. According to reports, local authorities sent 5,000 police to stop the violence after which some 40 people were sent to hospitals.
Although the event is still under investigation, it appears that it was caused by security guards hitting an employee rather than working conditions. But commentators have been quick to point out that ongoing evidence of harsh management, labor abuse and work safety violations likely contributed to an environment in which what should have been a minor incident quickly escalated into a full-scale riot.
Although Foxconn supplies many companies including Microsoft, Amazon, Dell, Cisco and Hewlett Packard; it is Apple that has become most closely associated with them – likely because of the sharp contrast between Apple’s corporate image and the rather brutal image of a key supplier.