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Has Foxconn installed new anti-suicide nets? The company hasn't announced officially.  (Source: Gizmodo)
Wish you would step back from that ledge my friend./ You could cut ties with all the lies / That you've been living in.

Increasing 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 also raising 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

In 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.

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By hughlle on 6/29/2010 11:38:15 AM , Rating: 2
haha, quite.

next thing they'll be sending out new contracts docking pay for misuse of the "safety nets"

i find it a little stupid that after everything, the company figures that adding a room for workers to beat the stress and anger out, is more effective than changing the circumstances that are making them that angry in the first place. i wouldn't be happy hiring people knwoing that they will kill themselves out of hatred for the job i offer unless i offer means to fight out the anger. business model fail? :D

By Estee on 6/30/2010 2:48:03 AM , Rating: 2
As a wise man once said, "don't hate the playa, hate the game". The issue at hand isn't caused by Foxconn, it's by the Chinese themselves. While there is an economic boom happening, it is brought on the backs by the cheap labor which the government has condoned. If this didn't happen, you'd be looking at most of these kids growing up to be prostitutes, massage folks, or restaurant workers instead barely scraping a living to make ends meet. So if anyone is to blame, look at the (ironicically) socialistic ideals of China that tends to abuse its people as opposed to helping them (welfare-wtf is that there?!!).

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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