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According to Chinese reports, a man recently was worked to death at an Apple plant. Foxconn, the manufacturer, is reportedly denying the man's family full benefits, as the death was not a suicide.  (Source: Ming Pao)
Foxconn refuses to pay family of employee who died of exhaustion after 34-hour shift as it wasn't suicide

The Shenzhen factory-city in southern China that primarily serves as a manufacturing site for Apple's iPads, iPhones, and iPods has claimed another life, only this time it wasn't a suicide. The man was a 28-year old plant engineer who reportedly died of exhaustion after being forced to work 34 hours nonstop.

Foxconn reportedly has been making employees work increasingly long hours to satisfy the growing demand for the iPad, including unpaid overtime.  It also has reportedly been bullying employees at the Shenzhen Apple plant and elsewhere.

The company is currently refusing to pay the family of the man, Yan Li, full benefits typically given for workers that commit suicide.  Instead, despite having apparently worked him to death, the company plans to only give the family a smaller "humanitarian terms" payout.

The man died shortly after suffering from shortness of breath.  After the 34 hour workday, he had rested for 10 hours, then had returned to work and had worked for 12 hours before becoming ill and dying.

Foxconn manufactures motherboards and other electronics for a variety of companies including Dell, HP, Microsoft, Nintendo, Nokia, and Sony.  However the Shenzhen factory serves primarily as a manufacturing facility for Apple products big and small.  It has all been the site of all the deaths thus far this year.

Since the start of the year, 11 Shenzhen workers have committed suicide, while several more have made unsuccessful attempts.  The string of suicides have brought to light the poor working conditions that the employees toil under daily.

Hon Hai Precision Industry owns the Foxconn unit that operates the plant.  The company has tried many approaches to stop the suicides -- Buddhist monks, "anger rooms", even contracts asking employees to promise not to kill themselves.  However, the death toll has continued to rise.

Foxconn's latest bid to halt the death toll is to give employees a long promised raise.  The company just instituted a 30 percent pay bump at the Shenzhen facility, bringing workers' average starting wage from $132 USD a month to $172 USD per month, enough to buy one of the iPad Nanos they manufacture (after a month's work).

The raise is rumored to be subsidized by Apple.  Apple reportedly is taking a 0.7 percent loss on the iPad's cost to pay for the raise -- or rough $3.50 per iPad sold.  This means that Apple's profit per unit sold will like drop from around $200 to around $196 per Wi-Fi iPad sold.



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I feel like a hypocrit
By DoeBoy on 6/2/2010 2:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
As a US citizen I feel bad about this kind of stuff. Its amazing how much money companies can make in profit margin when they just do it off the backs of a country that does not treat labor correctly. It seems like needing to own a ton of gadgets aids in this and these days every kid on the block has tons of electronics. Apple sure has not lived up to the image it set itself up for in the 80s. It seems like Jobs has caught on to Microsoft's techniques and is now raking in the doe for his company just like Microsoft.




RE: I feel like a hypocrit
By tallcool1 on 6/4/2010 11:47:43 AM , Rating: 3
Unless everybody that wants these products is willing to pay ALOT more for them, you will continue to see these items made in low wage countries like China which is willing to sacrifice its people for this industry and the contracts that go with them. You want piece of mind, the products would have to be built in the USA, Europe, Japan and similair locations but at much higher cost to the consumer.


“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs














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