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
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
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.