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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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RE: Treating the symptom not the problem
By EricMartello on 6/29/2010 12:07:42 PM , Rating: 2
If I had to go to a "college like" setting every day I'd probably consider playing superman for a few seconds too. What kind of douchebag would want to spend the rest of their life in a college-like setting? It's like the 45 year old who still lives with his parents.

RE: Treating the symptom not the problem
By Hare on 6/29/2010 1:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately not everyone can live the quality of life so many of us take for granted. What I'm saying is that a "douchebag" Foxconn employee may actually be lucky compared to many others in China. It may look like a prison/campus to us but for some chinese it's a chance for a better life. Many of the "douchebags" actually do it to support their families in rural China.

What next? You think Ethiopians are douchebags for not eating enough?

By Estee on 6/30/2010 2:36:10 AM , Rating: 2
Very well said....China is rampant with prostitution and indenture "slaves", especially for those from the country side. Would you rather go to those types of "jobs" or server at a factory that tries to look out for its employees. While it may never approach what Westerners consider "decent", it is pretty good for most Chinese.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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