Print 44 comment(s) - last by Dylock.. on Nov 8 at 2:40 PM

Another suicide has hit Foxconn's Shenzhen plant. According to a recent report one in six employees at the plant were physically abused by the company.  (Source: Telegraph UK)
Workers are reportedly toiling under sweat-shop conditions, abuse to produce popular electronics

A recent expose by a state-run news agency in China revealed that approximately one in six workers at electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn had been physically abused by their employer.  Foxconn, a subsidiary of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, responded quickly, saying the employees were lying and that its working atmosphere was "positive".

How "positive" that atmosphere really is has been brought into question yet again as yet another young employee has died in what appears to be a suicide.  The 23-year-old male was found dead outside a dormitory early on Friday.

Previously this year there had been 13 confirmed suicides at Foxconn's Chinese factories.  Despite China's high suicide rate, the suicides are unusual.  Most suicides in China occur among older rural residents -- heavily older rural females.  The Foxconn deaths though have been largely young males, living in an urban setting -- a demographic that has a much lower average suicide rate.

Employees interviewed by multiple Chinese news organizations report abuse and hellish working conditions.  The government is growing increasingly frustrated with Foxconn as they feel the company is casting the nation in a negative light and that the suicides may be caused by the poor conditions at the plants.

Other employees have died under questionable circumstances and may have committed suicide as well.  At least one employee is thought to have been worked to death.

Foxconn commands a lot of power in the electronics industry, though.  It is the primary manufacturer for Apple, Inc. making the company's popular iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Mac computers.  The company also makes hardware for Dell, HP, Microsoft, Nintendo, and more.  If you walk into a Best Buy store's electronics section it is a fair bet that the majority of products were at least partially assembled by Foxconn.

Despite the reportedly sweat-shop working conditions many young people have journey to Foxconn's massive factory towns that house hundreds of thousands of workers, lured by the promise of steady income and higher wages.  When they get there, though, many become homesick and bemoan the lack of promised raises.

Foxconn promised to give its employees a big raise to curb suicides and possibly move employees to midwest China, closer to its workers' homes.  According to investigative reports it has done neither.

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RE: Boycott Apple
By xti on 11/5/2010 11:28:46 AM , Rating: 2
The jobs that make things happen around you are using hp/dells to run their business.

Did you stop eating taco bell when their tomato supplier wouldn't give their pickers a few extra cents? do you boycott coke and their bajillion products for similar issues?

No one is brainwashed, saying you never do something isn't going to "deprogram" anything either.

RE: Boycott Apple
By kingius on 11/5/2010 12:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps we should also do the things you've mentioned and show the corporations where the real power has always lain.. with the people.

RE: Boycott Apple
By The Raven on 11/5/2010 12:28:52 PM , Rating: 2
The only way to fix this detachment problem is to get rid of the minimum wage. It is easy for us to employ people living on wages of that standard if those workers aren't in our country.
But do it in our country and it is criminal (like allowing legal immigrants from Mexico to work at rates they would be willing to).

Whatever makes all you people feel good. That is what the US has become. It doesn't matter if it makes sense or if it even makes a difference in the environment. Just so long as it feels good to vote for it or buy it.

Put the free market to work and it will return the favor.

RE: Boycott Apple
By kingius on 11/5/2010 12:35:02 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah and an invisible hand will come along and save us all. Tell us another fairy tale, why not.

RE: Boycott Apple
By The Raven on 11/5/2010 3:31:53 PM , Rating: 1
You got a better story? One that makes sense? Or is it just a feel good everyone lives happily ever after tale based in some fantasy land?

Mine's based on a true story.

RE: Boycott Apple
By Dylock on 11/8/2010 2:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
'The Raven' is right. We can't legislate for other countries where our products are made, but we can stop sending jobs there by doing one of the following...
A) Place an import tax on products based on the differences in wage earnings in that country (this would solve some of our trade deficit problem too)
B) Remove our minimum wage to become competitive. If things are cheaper to make here, then the jobs here can be legislated to be made fair

Option A is wiser at this time, from my understanding

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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