ninth Foxconn worker fell
to his death today just three days after the last fall.
That brings the total to 11 falls at the Shenzen
plant, which primarily manufactures Apple's iPads, iPhones, and
iPods (other Foxconn locations manufacture motherboards for Sony,
Nintendo, and Microsoft game consoles and for personal
computers).The deceased was a 19-year-old male. The
fall occurred around 6:30 a.m., about the same time another young
male fell to his death last Friday.Last year, Foxconn's plant
workers had a suicide rate far below the average for rural China,
which has one of the world's highest suicide rates. Last year,
the company only had three suicides -- and one of those three was
murder (of an employee who lost an iPhone prototype) that
was eventually deemed "conclusively" to be a
suicide.However, this year, a string of employees have been
losing their lives in apparent suicides, falling off high windows and
balconies in the Shenzhen factory town. Shenzhen holds anywhere
from 330,000 to 420,000 employees.There's some question over
whether the employees are not committing suicide, but rather falling
to their deaths from sheer exhaustion. The company has
reportedly been forcing employees to work long hours of overtime
unpaid -- to satisfy demand for the iPhone. The
employees spend most of the day standing and reportedly can barely
stand by the day's end.Yet another question is whether
Foxconn's policy of security harassment of employees had any role in
the deaths. Apple demands unparalleled security for its
production facility and Foxconn has responded by recruiting a
reportedly thuggish and brutal security detail.
leaked of guards at another Foxconn plant pushing employees
and pulling one employee aside and roughing him up. Shenzhen's
security staff beat
up one reporter who was trying to interview
employees.Foxconn's CEO Guo Tai-ming finally
addressed the suicides, speaking to Chinese reporters today.
In the short interview he said that his company was struggling to
deal with the 800,000+ employees it currently has spread out across a
couple of massive factory complexes.He refuted claims that
the Shenzhen factory was a "sweatshop". In the
interview he stated:
are definitely not a ‘Sweatshop’ manufacturer. There are about
800,000 employees in China’s Foxconn, it is difficult for us to
handle such a huge production team. We have (the) confidence to
stabilize the whole situation.Many of the management issues,
we must only (take action) instead of talking about it, but we have
always done well on (that). The press media always loves to report
Foxconn’s issues, if there are really problem behind the company,
it already (have fallen apart), it will not wait until now. At the
moment, a lot of things cannot be said. We are quietly doing (what we
can to solve the case).
will now be playing Buddhist music on its assembly lines to try to
soothe malcontent workers. It also is reportedly bringing in
the Master of Buddhist Association of China to help counsel workers
and release the souls of the dead workers from purgatory.
quote: using, in some cases, child labor
quote: I hate a lot of Apples tactics, policies and other BS, but I have to ask if you've got any proof to substantiate that claim?
quote: Is sending them back jobless and penniless to the rice fields really a good solution?
quote: so the entire primacy argument is moot. It then devolves into an argument of "You're too young to work so you're just going to have to do nothing."