Feeds

Workers, guards clash in hours-long Samsung factory RIOT in Vietnam

Property burned, at least 11 injured in major melee

Boost IT visibility and business value

Samsung's new cellphone factory in Thai Nguyen province, Vietnam, is off to an inauspicious start, having experienced its first work-related riots before it has even opened for business.

According to a report in the state-run newspaper Thanh Nien, construction workers clashed with security guards at the facility on Thursday when the guards reportedly wouldn't allow some of the workers to bring meals to the site.

Another source claimed the guards told workers who had forgotten their ID cards to retrieve them from their homes, which in some cases were located far away from the construction site.

As tempers flared, a guard allegedly hit one worker with a club, knocking the builder unconscious and kicking off a melee that, we're told, lasted as long as three hours.

Workers reportedly beat and threw rocks at the security guards, and when police arrived to break up the scrum, they too were attacked. "Hundreds" of workers are said to have been involved in the violence.

In all, between 11 and 13 people were injured in the incident – including guards, workers, and cops alike – with five of them described as having suffered serious injuries, including "brain trauma." A Chinese news source even reported that one of the most seriously hurt had died, but this could not be confirmed.

Workers also reportedly set fire to three containers that were being used as housing by the security forces and burned as many as 22 of the guards' motorcycles. Videos posted by Thanh Nien showed plumes of black smoke rising from piles of burning debris.

Samsung broke ground on the factory site – its second in Vietnam – in March 2013, and the South Korean firm is expected to spend about $3.2bn to complete the construction. By the time the Thai Nguyen plant opens for business in March 2014, it is expected to be the largest Samsung mobile device factory in the world.

Samsung and other tech companies have lately been moving some of their operations to Vietnam because labor costs there are much lower than in nearby China. Clashes like the incident at Samsung's factory site are also rare in Vietnam, where the authoritarian government takes a dim view of violent labor disputes.

In a canned statement, Samsung said Thursday's incident was "a brief altercation" over "security protocols," and that construction work on the factory was not affected.

Vietnamese police say they are investigating the matter, and that anyone believed to have been involved will be subject to prosecution for "vandalism" and "disturbing public order." ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.