FoxConn Suicide Scandal
12th Foxconn Employee Jumps; Became 10th To Die
By Kat Hannaford on May 27, 2010 at 6:35 PM
Despite Foxconn allegedly asking all employees to sign contracts promising not to kill themselves, another worker has jumped out of a building window. This came hours after Foxconn’s CEO was boasting to press of the fabulous facilities at the factories.
It appears the Olympic-sized swimming pool just isn’t enough to keep workers happy. The 10th employee to kill himself jumped sometime just before midnight (local Chinese time) last night; apparently he was aged just 23 years.
Foxconn CEO Guo Tai-ming supposedly told the assembled press at the conference yesterday that he “needs therapy,” according to a translation from NowNews. He’s ordered safety nets to be erected around the dormitories and factory buildings, covering 1.5 million square metres, and said “although this seems like a ‘dumb’ measure, at least it could save life should anyone else fall”.
This is the Foxconn industrial base in Guangdong province China...
Half factory, half city - it is the manufacturing base for millions of high tech goods - and home to 300 hundred thousand workers who live on one of the biggest production sites in the world.
But the electronics firm has been rocked this year by the suicides of eight employees jumping to their deaths from buildings with two further falls causing workers serious injuries.
All were aged under 25 and had been with the firm for less than a year.
Now the spot light is falling on the working conditions here as the world's insatiable demand for high tech electronic goods at low price clashes with the methods used by companies like this to produce them.
Workers have criticised the company's management following the most recent suicide.
"Foxconn's management is totally inhumane. The personal quality of lower management are very low."
"To put it a bit more bluntly, it feels like mistreatment. They don't regard the workers as humans. That's how they cultivate new employees in this company."
Following the most recent death, Foxconn has organized recreational activities, opened a counselling center and set up a hotline for workers to call with their problems.
Analysts have warned that clients may reconsider their contracts with the company if it doesn't address their workers' issues.