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Foxconn may replace workers at its plants with robots. The plants which have been dubbed as "hellish" by the Chinese media, also are cutting their sucide payouts. They already don't pay for workers who die of exhaustion.  (Source: Telegraph UK)

Foxconn is blame news orginizations' reporting of the deaths for provoking more suicides, dismissing that poor working conditions are to blame.  (Source: Southern Weekly)
Company also blames news networks for the suicides

Foxconn seemed to be turning the corner in working conditions and corporate policy.  It had raised employees' base wages and instituted additional performance based increases, as well.  It even had retracted its contract letters to employees demanding they didn't kill themselves.  Now the manufacturer -- which services Apple, Sony, Microsoft, and a host of other companies -- is turning to some controversial new changes.

First of all, at its annual shareholder meeting yesterday, Terry Gou, CEO of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry (owners of the Chinese Foxconn unit) blamed news agencies and company payouts for the rash of suicides.  He first read a letter from one of the employees who killed himself, which stated: I'm going to jump off Foxconn, really leaving now, but you don't have to be sad, because Foxconn will pay a bit of money, this is all your son can repay you now.
He also stated that 6 of the 12 suicides, which occurred in May after the story received international attention, may have triggered a "Werther Effect" -- people reading about the story and deciding to kill themselves.  As a result, Gou is handing control over "welfare management work" to the Chinese local government, which may chose to block internet coverage for the events.

He also announced that Foxconn will no longer pay the families of employees who kill themselves.  Recently a worker died, apparently from exhaustion from working long hours and Foxconn refused to pay his family, as well.  The new policy, though, ends suicide payouts that could total as much as 10 years worth of salary.

Foxconn has also started to flee China, where it currently employs over 800,000 people.  In the shareholders meeting it said that the rise in wages from ¥900 ($132) to ¥1,200 ($176), and for top performers up to ¥2,000 ($293), is compelling it to move to countries with cheaper labor or seek alternative options. 

It says that it may replace employees with robots, building a fully automated assembly line in Taiwan.  This suggestion is somewhat ironic, given recent Foxconn factory workers' complaints that they felt like "robots" when performing their duties. 

Chairman Samuel Chen says that the company may also shift employees and orders to its Vietnam plant, where labor is cheaper.  Chen says that Foxconn is working with the companies that contract it to make these moves as smooth as possible.

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Another example of the downward spiral
By althing on 6/9/2010 3:07:30 PM , Rating: 0
To all you soulless people who defend this practice of Foxconn and all the other major electronics manufacturers, you are revolting. You display a total lack of basic human compassion. Your "I've got mine, y'all go **** yourselves" reveals the kind of person you are: heartless, cruel, petty. Where will this downward spiral end? With all countries trying desperately to lower their people's standard of living to compete so that all the money ends up in the hands of a few incredibly wealthy people? What do you think happens when people have nothing more to lose but their lives? In France, they rose up and killed the aristocrats. You talk about Foxconn and others' vile practices as human nature, just live with it. It's also our nature to preserve our own lives at any cost. You people should realize that if this kind of thing continues as it has, there will be consequences for all of us when civil war and rioting break out finally in the so-called first-world nations. Maybe you should care about your own race now, today, and take actions to PREVENT this collapse from happening, like supporting people's right to earn an good living. Caring about your own species is a self-preservation instinct. To be as cruel and heartless as some of you posters clearly are is to lessen your own chances of a comfortable life in the future, to even lose all it. So wake up.

RE: Another example of the downward spiral
By YashBudini on 6/10/2010 12:53:15 AM , Rating: 1
History repeats itself. From "Aliens":

Ripley: You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.

By YashBudini on 6/10/2010 11:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
Amazing how so many people hate the truth around here.

By xkrakenx on 6/10/2010 9:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
so what are you doing about it besides blathering like a fool? do you always look left and right before you enjoy something and make sure everybody else has at least as much as you? Self preservation involves greed as much as it does sociability. Hippie ideals about everybody getting an equal share never work out in reality.

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