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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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RE: Heartless Bastards
By Shadowmaster625 on 6/2/2010 3:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
I cant believe people buy products from a company that makes 100 times more in profits than they spend on labor manufacturing costs. This is clearly absurd. I hope AAPL burns in hell and the stock goes to 0 and all you DUMB yuppies lose everything and die in a gutter with nothing but your stupid iCrap. Stop killing this @#^@ country.

RE: Heartless Bastards
By bubbastrangelove on 6/2/2010 4:04:18 PM , Rating: 3
[George Stienbrenner Voice] HIRE THIS MAN! [/George Stienbrenner Voice]

RE: Heartless Bastards
By hiscross on 6/2/2010 10:43:58 PM , Rating: 1
You are clearly are a socialist liberal. Can you please go the Gulf use your body to stop the oil leak? That will show the world that socialist can help others.

RE: Heartless Bastards
By Shadowmaster625 on 6/2/2010 11:35:57 PM , Rating: 3
Socialism is what you get after you send all manufacturing overseas and the nation has no means to produce wealth except to take it by force from those few remaining who are still productive. There is no reason Apple cant take 20% of those rediculous profits and use them to build their products in the USA. Oh so it would cost $40 a unit instead of $4 to manufacture it here in the US. Big friggin whoopteedoo. If apple customers werent so damn braindead Apple would have been forced (by the market) to do this. The mere fact that people in this country are too damn stupid to figure out how to rub two brain cells together long enough to do what's right is a RESULT of a failed socialized education system. So take your hopelessly misinformed notions of socialism and stick em.

RE: Heartless Bastards
By alanore on 6/3/2010 6:57:38 AM , Rating: 2
If you don't want Socio-capitalism and just want pure capitalism then that what you get. By out sourcing its labor Apple is maximizing its profits, that is one of the reasons it one of the most successful tech companies today.

You cant have your cake an eat it. Forcing Apple to manufacture in the US would go against capitalist ideals.

RE: Heartless Bastards
By Moishe on 6/3/2010 9:22:25 AM , Rating: 2
Are you clueless? What about the other costs? Design, manufacturing, shipping, marketing, retail, corporate overhead, etc, etc...

The cost of manufacturing is usually the smallest part of the investment.

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