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Foxconn CEO Guo Tai-ming insists his company isn't running sweatshops. His company makes the majority of Apple's products, as well as a variety of PC and gaming console motherboards. There have been nine suspected suicide deaths at his company's plants thus far this year.  (Source: CCTV)
Foxconn brings more Buddhist monks to release souls of dead Apple plant workers from purgatory

A 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 a suspected 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 -- often 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. 

A video recently 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:

We 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).

Foxconn 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.

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RE: New Feature
By JasonMick on 5/25/2010 10:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
Example of writing

I'm still not quite sure about your specific complaints. You have a problem with me using the same phrase twice? "Last year" is a pretty way to describe... "last year". I mean I think you're grasping at straws.

As to my supposed "slant" I always try to provide fair and balanced coverage. That's made be called an Apple lover before, and now apparently it makes me an Apple hater.

If you can't handle negative coverage of Apple, perhaps you should move up to a magical mountain free of internet and other such connections to blasphemous materials. I would suggest the same thing to anyone who can't handle a bit of negative press about their favorite company.

I've written critical coverage of Google, Microsoft, Apple, virtually everyone in the past. I've also written positive coverage of EVERY one of these companies. Honestly, I think it's you who needs to mature a bit or barring that, at least avoid articles that you know are going to get you all worked up.

I won't bother posting about the slant in the article since that, unlikely your writing, must be as obvious to you as it is to everyone else.

Ultimately I care a LOT about what readers think, which is the only reason I responded to your comment (which seemed a bit trollish) in the first place. I can take criticism. But if you're asking me to never write negative coverage of Apple because doing so somehow makes me "childish" in your eyes, I'm sorry sir, I respectfully decline.

Please feel free to reply with any intelligent thoughts or legitimate concerns.

RE: New Feature
By Anoxanmore on 5/26/2010 10:16:47 AM , Rating: 1
I love you Jason, but you hate apple... wait no you love apple but hate google... wait no you love google but hate microsoft. Help?!

Oh I'm so confused.

Foxy face: =^-^=

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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