Print 76 comment(s) - last by rburnham.. on Jun 2 at 3:23 PM

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 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.

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