attention has been paid to the sharp
increase in suicides this year at Foxconn's Shenzhen factory
which manufactures iPods, iPads, and iPhones. It also fills orders
from a broad list of clientele including Dell, HP, Microsoft,
Nintendo, and Sony. With at least one employee dying
from exhaustion as well, the pressure is on for Foxconn and
its Taiwanese owner Hon Hai Precision Industry Ltd. to enact
changes.In the long term Foxconn is considering moving to
Vietnam in order to lower labor costs, or replacing
employees with robots at an automated facility in Taiwan.
For now, it's using other measures to try to cut the suicide rate in
China in the short term.Among these measures appear to be a
set of newly installed safety nets at some of its facilities. A
tipster sent a photo of some of these nets in to Gizmodo.
As the site points out, the company has put out no official release
about the nets, which span between the kind of residential high rises
that employees have previously jumped from. The nets may serve
some other purpose, but its appears they may have at least been in
part put up to cushion employees' falls.Foxconn is
its employees wages. And its brought in a host of experts
including Buddhist monks to release the souls of the dead from
purgatory and to flood the plant floors with soothing melodies.
It also has created "anger rooms" in which its employees
can beat away their rage and frustration.Most U.S.
manufacturers turn a blind eye to these kind of issues in China.
However, after much criticism Apple has taken to conducting yearly
working condition studies. Its latest one showed a variety of
problems including overworked,
underpaid employees, and the use of child labor.
the wake of these problems Apple and other U.S. firms have shown some
signs that they're looking to adopt firmer stances with their
suppliers to reduce these kinds of problems.
quote: Importantly — and contrary to conventional wisdom — the researchers did not find an increase in jumps from other buildings or bridges in the area. In other words, people didn’t just go find another bridge to jump from.
quote: According to the paper, “Researchers found that just the presence of the net stopped people from even trying to jump off the Munster Terrace, a medieval cathedral located in the old section of Bern, from which two or three people had been leaping to their deaths every year. They also found that the net did not shift suicides to other locations.”