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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 Reclaimer77 on 6/2/2010 5:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
Other than that, there really is nothing we can do but not buy apple products.

We could clone Ronald Regan! That way we would have someone who actually knew how to deal with Communists and bring them to the negotiating table, and ultimately bring them to their knees.

I'm not gonna sit here and defend Foxconn, but I will say that many of the companies in China treat their factory employees this way

Lol is that your idea of a silver lining? I don't know about you, but I don't get a fuzzy feeling knowing Foxconn is just the tip of the iceberg.

What we should do is actively support the workers there to unionize and demand better working conditions.

Ummm, you really don't get it, do you? You can't unionize when your system of Government denies you basic human rights.

Look at it this way, what if this happened in America or another civilized nation? There would be investigations, public outcries, law enforcement action, indictments, federal junctions, etc etc. At the very least, you would almost certainly be heavily fined and probably shut down. Why is none of this happening in China? Because your basic human rights are of NO concern to the Government, in fact, you HAVE no basic human rights.

Knowing all that, you expect these employees to somehow have the power, and protection needed, to form a Union and "demand" better working conditions?? HOW!? Because we actively "support" that? What a bunch of fluffy feel-good nonsense. The people stepping on the throats of these workers could give a goddamn about your support!

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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