(Recasts with Foxconn statement denying strike)
TAIPEI/SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Foxconn, theTaiwanese made-to-order electronics giant that assembles AppleInc's products, denied reports that a plant in Chinawas crippled by a strike, saying on Saturday that its productionis on schedule at an important time for Apple.
The report of a strike issued by China Labor Watch, a NewYork-based advocacy group, came weeks after Apple kicked off itslargest-ever global rollout for the new iPhone 5 smartphone.Apple is already struggling with tight availability of thephones in stores, analysts say.
The labor group said 3,000 to 4,000 workers struck atFoxconn's Zhengzhou complex in central China on Fridayafternoon, angered by over-exacting quality controls as well asdemands they work through the week-long National Day holidays,which began on Monday.
But Foxconn Technology Group, which has its headquarters inTaiwan, denied the report and said the plant suffered only twobrief and small disputes several days earlier.
"Any reports that there has been an employee strike areinaccurate," the company said in an emailed statement, addingthat "there has been no workplace stoppage in that facility orany other Foxconn facility and production has continued onschedule."
Tensions have boiled over repeatedly in factories operatedby Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturing giant thatemploys more than a million and makes most of the world's iPadsand iPhones. Last month, thousands rioted at its Taiyuanfacility in northern China, disrupting production for about 24hours and underscoring the potential for labor unrest.
China Labor Watch said the dispute at the Zhangzhou plantarose over strict demands on product quality, which workers saidthey could not meet without more training.
In its response, Foxconn said the quarrels happened on Oct.1-2, and were "isolated incidents and were immediately addressedand measures taken, including providing additional staff for thelines in question."
Foxconn also said that employees who worked over China'sNational Day break did so voluntarily and were paid three timestheir usual hourly compensation, as demanded by law.
Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan, the trading name of HonHai Precision Industry Co , is the world's largestcontract maker of electronics for global brands such as HewlettPackard Co , Nokia and Dell Inc .
Apple and Foxconn have come under fire for poor workingconditions and wages at plants across China. In response, theyhave 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'svast complex on the far outskirts of Zhengzhou in late March.
(Reporting By Edwin Chan and Jonathan Standing; Writing byChris Buckley; Editing by Richard Chang and Sanjeev Miglani)
Keywords: APPLE FOXCONN/