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Foxconn to employees: Please promise not to kill yourselves. Sign here.  (Source: Shanghaiist)
Letter comes after yet another employee jumped/fell

A thirteenth employee jumped/fell from a high roof or ledge at Foxconn's Shenzhen factory in rural China.  The young woman reportedly survived and Foxconn is disputing reports that she meant to take her life.

The factory in Shenzhen assembles Apple's the majority of Apple's iPads, iPhones, and iPods – it also produces products for HP and Dell among other manufacturers.  After a string of suicides, Apple has become alarmed and has pressured Foxconn to seek solutions to stop the deaths.

The deaths are not unusual when compared to rural China's average suicide rates, which are among the world's highest.  However, they are unusual for Chinese factories, which typically feature lower suicide rates.  For example, last year all of Foxconn's factory towns had only 3 reported suicides, one of which involved the suspicious death of an employee who lost an iPhone prototype.

In addition to Buddhist music, religious counseling, and an anger room (with dummies to beat on with bats), Foxconn reportedly has adopted yet another tactic -- having employees sign a letter promising not to kill themselves.  The letter reads [translated]:

A Letter to Foxconn Colleagues
Dear Colleagues:
We enthusiastically welcome you to the Foxconn Technology Co. family!
To wish you happiness in crossing this career milestone into a great stage in your life, Foxconn has provided you with this: A workplace environment that will help you gain experience and wisdom; complete living facilities; various entertainment venues, learning and sports facilities, and activities; as well as a service staff that will help resolve difficulties.
Please know:
1. If you or your colleagues come across frustrations, grievances, embarrassments in your work, daily activities, schooling, feelings, family life, or health, you can ask for help by calling our "Worker Care Center" hotline: 78585 (phonetically it sounds like "Please help me, help me"). The company will arrange a professional to help you or your colleague solve your problems. If your reports on your colleagues helps prevent an accident, the company will provide an adequate reward.
2. If you have other non-urgent problems, you can also contact the Complaints hotline: 15000, trade union hotline: 81111, employee suggestion box, and the trade union mailbox to make a report. The company will also dispatch a professional to solve the issue.
At the same time, please understand:
1. The company respects operational and management law, and respects and cares about the staff.
2. The way the company deals with employee accidents is based in national law and is in accordance with regulations, as well as the principles of the corporation and humane care. As for the accidents to employees (including suicide, self-mutilation, etc.), the company cannot pay more than what is regulated, but will actively cooperate with government departments according to the laws of compensation and will work out a reasonable pension.
The company is attaching importance to prevention programs, and will continue their expansion. As a reminder, the company has especially drafted this letter for you to sign.
Finally, wish you a smooth career and happy life with the Foxconn family!
Foxconn Technology Co.
May 2010
I am aware of the contents of the open letter as well as the variety of services and care the company is providing. I promise the following:
1. If I encounter problems and difficulties after entering the company, I will ask for help from the "Employee Care Center" and other related departments.
2. In terms of my own responsibilities, if I have great difficulties or frustrations I will reach out to relatives to resolve them or report them to the company director, I will also agree to contact and communicate with colleagues, personal staff and relatives. However, I will not harm myself or others; I agree that, in order for the company to protect me and others, it can send me to a hospital should I exhibit abnormal physical or mental problems.
3. In the event of non-accidental injuries (including suicide, self mutilation, etc.), I agree that the company has acted properly in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, and will not sue the company, bring excessive demands, take drastic actions that would damage the company's reputation or cause trouble that would hurt normal operations.
I confirm that I have read and am aware of these issues
________________ (signature)
Employee number:
Residence number:

Foxconn employees are reportedly a bit nervous about the letter, as they worry that it will give their supervisors grounds to have them committed to a mental hospital if they disagree with them.  They may not have much choice in the matter, though; under pressure from Apple, at this point Foxconn is willing to try just about anything to stamp out the suicide trend.

Comments     Threshold

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By Reclaimer77 on 5/27/2010 4:29:15 PM , Rating: 0
After reading this, I got upset. A little choked up. People on Daily Tech might think I hate Communists or leftist or the Chinese, or whoever.

But it's not that at all. I just hate what these beliefs DO to people. If you think about it, this is such a heartbreaking story. It's honestly upsetting what these people have to put up with every day just to survive. I almost can't believe it, sitting here in my cushy American neighborhood with my lifestyle and freedoms, that other people have to live this way.

I don't care what anyone says, I honestly wouldn't have a problem with someone going over there and destroying Government's like this and liberating those people. I just don't care what the cost would be, it's worth it.

RE: Upset
By gamerk2 on 5/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Upset
By Reclaimer77 on 5/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Upset
By adiposity on 5/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Upset
By Reclaimer77 on 5/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Upset
By adiposity on 5/27/2010 6:32:26 PM , Rating: 5
I didn't say I disagreed with you, I just am pointing out that it's not consistent to say, "don't use this to push an agenda." Human rights are important, I think we can agree. But you used it as an excuse to criticize communism, and you are surprised when someone pops up saying, "nuh uh, it's capitalism that's the problem"?

I don't blame capitalism here, obviously it has to do with the totalitarian regime in China. But don't attack a political philosophy and then say, "and don't use this emotional event to push political viewpoints." It's absurd.

RE: Upset
By Reclaimer77 on 5/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Upset
By chick0n on 5/27/2010 10:38:15 PM , Rating: 1
That simply means you have no idea what exactly is going on.

1/2 of those people killed themselves simply because Foxconn will "PAY THEM 100K for death, regardless of reason, even suicide"

The other 1/2, well, they just can't stand the working pace/pressure there. Sucks to be them.

People have to work there 12 hours a day, that sound like a lot, but consider they're getting 3000 RMB a month (mind you, thats a LOT in China and most of those workers didn't even finish grade school)

and dont blame everything on the Chinese government. You sir Americans did a lot of dirty shit behind the scene at ALL times ---- you just dont know it, USA is good a masking shit.

RE: Upset
By thekatar2 on 5/27/2010 7:09:29 PM , Rating: 4
Here is a suggestion for everybody who is outraged at the working conditions at Foxconn:

Dont buy any more mobile phones, pc's, game machines, tablets, or desktop computers - unless they are 100% made in the USA. Now it will cost you around 2x what you currently pay because of higher labor costs, benefits, taxes, smaller economies of scale, etc. But I am sure thats not a problem for you. Whats another $500 on top of a $600 iPhone right?

RE: Upset
By Danish1 on 5/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: Upset
By knutjb on 5/28/2010 2:42:39 PM , Rating: 3
Of course not, the people who wrote your bible was smart enough to make suicide a sin to keep you doing your shitty job.
Think about that for a second.

Your analogy is so disconnected from reality perhaps you should seek counseling to work it out...

RE: Upset
By Danish1 on 5/29/2010 8:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
No it's just you missing the point, or not wanting to understand it because you also believe said 2000 years old book is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

RE: Upset
By dark matter on 5/30/2010 5:56:31 AM , Rating: 2
As much as I disagree with Reclaimer77's views, I do acknowledge them and actually bother to take the time to read them and not once, not once anywhere did her mention the bible or anything else related to religion in his posts.

He was talking about politics, capitalism and communism. If anything it is you who is the religious fundamentalist and not he. For you are the only one who sees' religion being mentioned where there is no mention of it. You are suffering from delusion.

RE: Upset
By Danish1 on 5/30/2010 7:19:27 AM , Rating: 2
Grats, I don't know how you managed to become so thick, but you did.

RE: Upset
By YashBudini on 6/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: Upset
By clovell on 5/27/2010 4:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
You would, but you didn't. At least not well enough to continue talking about such a stupid f*$king arguement.

RE: Upset
By MeesterNid on 5/27/2010 4:57:15 PM , Rating: 3
Capitalism and free market has choice built-in by default which makes your assertion of forced overtime null and void, i.e. you can't force people to do something without them choosing to accept it.

It's frankly dumbfounding that haven seen multiple examples of socialist systems fail people actually believe that politicians who pander that type of a system actually care about the constituents rather than their own personal (and inevitably ultimate) power. I was born and lived in the USSR and experienced this proletarian utopia first hand...I'm gonna pass this time.

RE: Upset
By Chocobollz on 5/28/2010 9:12:49 AM , Rating: 1
Capitalism and free market has choice built-in by default

Choices? Like:
1. Work for us and die painfully, or
2. Don't work for us and die slowly

Is that really an option?

RE: Upset
By knutjb on 5/28/2010 2:38:05 PM , Rating: 2
Dude read some history. Its obvious you have a twisted understanding of what's going on. Say US 1912-1924 and 1928-1945. Then explain why the amendment was so easily passed to limit presidential terms. Add the Constitution and John Locke's The Second Treatise of Civil Government to required reading since they are all conspicuously missing from the public school system.

Choices? Like: 1. Work for us and die painfully, or 2. Don't work for us and die slowly Is that really an option?

You present false choices that are distinctly analogous of a very liberal public education accepted as the gospel truth.

In Capitalism you do have a choice if you don't like your job quit and get another one. In Socialism, Communism, Marxism, et al you work where "their" testing says you belong and nowhere else.

China is going through a massive paradigm clash from a communist's lack of understanding to the foreign idea of capitalism combined with the desire for ALL the money generated by it. The two, Capitalism and Communism,or Marxism, or Socialism, or Social-Democracy, etc... have directly contradicting ideas that when combined cause great turmoil that will end with one or the other collapsing. Only Capitalism can create net economic growth, the others tend to be zero-sum economies.

It's all about power and who controls it. Foxconn is merely the symptom of a pending internal clash of political ideologies. But if you think Chinese Communism is so wonderful you need to read up on it and the Soviet revolution too as they are another criminal omission from the public school system.

RE: Upset
By YashBudini on 6/1/2010 11:09:41 PM , Rating: 2
"Capitalism and free market has choice built-in by default which makes your assertion of forced overtime null and void, i.e. you can't force people to do something without them choosing to accept it."

Making a choice under duress is not a real choice. Even idiot lawyers can understand that one.

RE: Upset
By omnicronx on 5/27/2010 5:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'd argue this is exactly what Capitalism leads to: Workers who are not paid adequetly for their work, forced overtime, etc. All so the business can host a bigger profit.
Are you serious? Foxxcon pays these people pennies, nor are their production costs even close to that of overseas.

And not adequately paid? Where do you live? Furthermore, ever heard of a little thing called a Union? Let alone labor laws? Do you realize how many people would love to get paid overtime? Its not like you are doing it for free, most states countries etc.. pay time and a half over a certain amount of hours.

RE: Upset
By Anoxanmore on 5/27/2010 4:43:48 PM , Rating: 2
I can haz ur luvs? <3

RE: Upset
By chick0n on 5/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Upset
By Reclaimer77 on 5/28/2010 10:32:14 AM , Rating: 2
Well I think this thread proved that, without a doubt, the majority of people rating posts are complete idiots. The fact that you can't stand up and speak the obvious truth about something as crippling as Communism without getting -1's is pathetic.

RE: Upset
By YashBudini on 6/1/2010 11:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
Gee I dunno, Goldman Sachs has done a pretty good job of crippling, and they aren't communists.

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