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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 drycrust3 on 6/2/2010 3:42:39 PM , Rating: 2

It would be interesting to find out what the Chinese police define as homicide, because if the management coerced him to stay at work and refused to let him go home to sleep, then they definitely killed him, and they can't say it was an accident because every manager should know sleep deprivation will kill a person.

RE: Heartless Bastards
By Moishe on 6/2/2010 4:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
34 hours of sleep deprivation including work won't harm anyone who is healthy.

Clearly we don't know all of the info.

RE: Heartless Bastards
By Reclaimer77 on 6/2/2010 5:32:59 PM , Rating: 4
34 hours of sleep deprivation including work won't harm anyone who is healthy.

You're an idiot. 34 hours, once or twice a year, won't harm anyone usually sure. However I doubt this was the case. Unless you actually believe this was a one time situation, he was almost certainly suffering from CHRONIC sleep deprivation which is much more serious. Most prevalent being a acutely weakened immune system, high blood pressure, heart attacks or heart failure, and a MUCH higher chance of having a stroke. Not to mention very high stress levels which further compound all these symptoms.

Clearly we don't know all of the info.

Well.. it's clear YOU don't.

RE: Heartless Bastards
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/2/2010 8:20:30 PM , Rating: 3
Neither do you.....

RE: Heartless Bastards
By Moishe on 6/3/2010 9:19:49 AM , Rating: 2
I find it hard to believe that someone is suing for something like this, but that they would fail to mention details like "the guy stayed up working 34 hours straight *multiple* times over the course of the last few months."

Not to mention... he just has 10 hours of rest before starting another shift. Like I said, clearly there is more to this than just 34 hours of work. We don't know everything.

If you wish to start throwing around the term "idiot" as usual, you're welcome to, but you don't *know* that the guy worked a bunch of 34 hours shifts, and you don't know what killed him. If he had chronic sleep deprivation, I think that it would be mentioned because it has a lot of bearing on the situation.

Trying to discover cause in a vacuum simply doesn't work very well.

RE: Heartless Bastards
By Gul Westfale on 6/2/2010 8:59:42 PM , Rating: 1
34 hours of sleep deprivation including work won't harm anyone

well, not according to george W. and the friendly staff at guantanamo hotel.

RE: Heartless Bastards
By Moishe on 6/3/2010 9:12:57 AM , Rating: 2
No doubt the terrorists at Guantanamo get better care than the people at this factory.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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