Apple has had a rough month. The
company's next generation iPhone was leaked
way ahead of schedule, spoiling the party for the smartphone's
early June announcement. Apple is notoriously secretive and
protective of its unreleased products, so the early scoop
understandably ruffled Steve Jobs' feathers to say the least.
And on a much more human level, Apple
has been the topic of discussion with regards to the Foxconn suicides
which seem to be happening quite frequently. Foxconn manufacturers
the iMac, iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad for Apple. Nine workers have
committed suicide in the past year (four in the past month) at
Foxconn's Shenzen plant -- two others attempted suicide, but lived.
Apple has now issued
a statement regarding the suicides to Bloomberg:
direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are
taking this matter very seriously. A team from Apple is independently
evaluating the steps they are taking to address these tragic events
and we will continue our ongoing inspections of the facilities where
our products are made. [Apple is] saddened and upset by the recent
suicides at Foxconn.
HP, which also has some of its products
manufactured at the Shenzen factory, added that it is investigating
“the Foxconn practices that may be associated with these tragic
reporter detailed the long working days, immense pressure put on
employees to increase productivity, and how some workers drop tools
on the floor just to get a few moments of rest without having to
stand on their feet.
Foxconn CEO Guo Tai-ming maintains
that his company doesn't run sweatshops, but he did concede that
"it is difficult for us to handle such a huge production team."
The spotlight on Foxconn has now made
it the target of hackers. Hackers recently defaced he company's human
relations site with the following according
Are you feeling
down today? Do you feel like not living anymore? Do you want to know
what it feels like to jump down from China's model suicide jumping
facility? Foxconn provides you the perfect environment to jump. All
the many reasons to jump here have ensured at least one jump per
week. Comprehensive press coverage guaranteed to ensure your name
travels ten thousand miles. What are you waiting for? Pick up your
phone now and join Foxconn.
Be the kickass
twelfth jumper. You can do it.
This isn't the first time that an Apple
manufacturing partner has come under fire. Recently it was reported
that Wintek was being sued for poisoning
44 employees with n-hexane. N-hexane is used at the assembly
plant to clean the screens of iPhones, but is extremely hazardous to
humans after prolonged exposure.