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]:
Letter to Foxconn Colleagues
enthusiastically welcome you to the Foxconn Technology Co. family!
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
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.
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.
the same time, please understand:
The company respects operational and management law, and respects and
cares about the staff.
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.
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.
wish you a smooth career and happy life with the Foxconn family!
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:
If I encounter problems and difficulties after entering the company,
I will ask for help from the "Employee Care Center" and
other related departments.
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.
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
confirm that I have read and am aware of these issues
(signature)Employee number:Residence number:Date:
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.