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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.

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RE: Upset
By Reclaimer77 on 5/27/2010 4:43:22 PM , Rating: -1
Capitalism leads to a complete lack of human rights, ethical treatment, and personal liberties? Where conditions are so bad people KILL THEMSELVES?? Psudo-Capitalism ran by Communists is what this is, nothing more.

Please, just stop. I'm not in the mood for your sophomoric leftist bullshit after reading this article. People have died, and you are using that to push an agenda. You make me sick.

I'll give you a hint: People don't commit suicide because of forced overtime and poor pay. I have had shitty jobs before, and I didn't kill myself. If you don't think something WAY more sinister is at the heart of this, you are dumber than I thought.

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
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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