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  • 10th Worker Kills Self at iPad Factory


    Another worker at the sprawling Shenzhen factory of iPad manufacturer Foxconn has committed suicide, Cult of Mac reports, bringing the sad total for this year to ten. Foxconn, which also manufactures iPhones, iPod and iMacs, not to mention Sony Ericsson and other phones, has come under increasing fire for what labor activists call inhumane conditions at the factory. The association with Foxconn has been a public relations concern for Apple, which had previously reacted with dismay when an employee committed suicide after an iPhone prototype went missing.

    At 6.20 am last Tuesday, according to the Christian Science Monitor, Li Hai, 19, jumped off the roof of a building at Foxconn's complex in Longhua, north of the city of Shenzhen in southern China. His death, reported today in the official Xinhua news service marks the tenth Foxconn employee suicide this year. Two more workers had also tried to kill themselves but survived. The company demands that employees work long hours for little pay: the Monitor article notes that the starting pay is 900 RMB ($130 US) and that workers must put in 30 hours of overtime in order to get to just 2,000 RMB ($295 US).

    Some commentators urge that the numbers be put in perspective, since the rate of pay is not unusual by Chinese standards, and that Foxconn offers better working conditions than many other manufacturers. Also, the Monitor quotes Michael Phillips, the head of the Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Center estimates that the national suicide rate in the People's Republic is about 15 per 100,000, so 10 suicides at Foxconn's 400,000-worker plant is not abnormally high (the US rate is 11 per 100,000).

    There will be repercussions for Apple, which will likely release an expression of concern similar to that following the suicide of a Foxconn worker who was suspected of stealing a prototype iPhone last year. At the time, an Apple spokesperson said “we require that our suppliers treat all workers with dignity and respect,” so likely there will be more statements and little change. But while it would be easy to blame Apple for trying to cut its costs to the bone, do Western consumers really want to pay more for iPhones and iPads? If there is any blame in this tragedy, there is a lot of it to go around.

    image via France 24
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 10th Worker Kills Self at iPad Factory started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 64 Comments
    1. iPhone3G[S]'s Avatar
      iPhone3G[S] -
      Quote Originally Posted by cerote View Post
      Unix runs a chunck of the world too.
      So does Chuck Norris!
    1. nautical79's Avatar
      nautical79 -
      Maybe its something evil inside technology thats make people mad
      i believe that Steve Jobs its the Antichrist. You are gona remember my words when apple realese the ichip, its gona be inside our body and we are gona be able to control our istuff with our mind. ppffff naaa thats imposible my iphone its all good
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      i don't think he killed himself because he was bored, probably "lost" some iPads, maybe thats y there r shortages
    1. nautical79's Avatar
      nautical79 -
      Quote Originally Posted by eortizr View Post
      interesting they use Dell Computers to test the ipads?
      If they pay that small amount of money its because they want to stay on budget, so they use the cheap stuff
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by cerote View Post
      Unix runs a chunck of the world too.
      if by a chunk, you mean like .01%, then yes, yes they do
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by lolcats1 View Post
      if by a chunk, you mean like .01%, then yes, yes they do
      Mean as in actually running the world(nonpersonal use but business). Like as in server.


      (Still trying to dig up current stats on that. Lastest article I keep seeing was 2006 lol. It was about how Windows finally tops Unix on servers. Anyone with current stat links please share with me I wanna see.)
    1. brokentwice's Avatar
      brokentwice -
      Soon as I saw this picture I thought to myself this is what the future jailbreaks will be like. haha
    1. McMichael96's Avatar
      McMichael96 -
      Quote Originally Posted by battlecrushr View Post
      thats sad

      Yep, it sure is.....
    1. mactwisted's Avatar
      mactwisted -
      truly sad and unfortunate...
    1. AjBlue's Avatar
      AjBlue -
      Quote Originally Posted by politicalslug View Post
      You left out the part about him being stabbed a few times prior to leaping off the building. The police concluded the knife wounds were self-inflicted. Uh huh. Still, ultra low wage labor is why the US can't compete with the east on production.
      Thats the main reason why almost everyone in the world is broke.
      Poorer countrys do jobs for way too less. and because of this and the improvements of transportation the u.s. is outsourcing tons of manufacturing jobs, causing people in the u.s. not make money due to no jobs. and to think all this because a few corperate big wigs want to make a quick buck.
      its always you are either really rich or really poor.
    1. DisneyRicky's Avatar
      DisneyRicky -
      And the point of killing yourself over this is...?
    1. QWood13's Avatar
      QWood13 -
      awww, that's sad
    1. Excel Wiz's Avatar
      Excel Wiz -
      This is horrible. 10 people in one company don't just kill themselves.
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -
      What do they prevent you from quitting?
    1. AjBlue's Avatar
      AjBlue -
      when you have a ****** life, why would you want to live? You work hard all day - stress, and then you have to deal with barely having enough money to get by - stress.
      if your dead the stress ends
    1. qgshadow's Avatar
      qgshadow -
      Low Production Cost for 200% Profit. Apple must be one of the companies that makes the more profit out of their Products.
    1. DoubleD's Avatar
      DoubleD -
      Quote Originally Posted by AjBlue View Post
      Thats the main reason why almost everyone in the world is broke.
      Poorer countrys do jobs for way too less. and because of this and the improvements of transportation the u.s. is outsourcing tons of manufacturing jobs, causing people in the u.s. not make money due to no jobs. and to think all this because a few corperate big wigs want to make a quick buck.
      its always you are either really rich or really poor.
      Like most things sold in the US, if it was made here 80% of us couldn't afford to buy them because production cost would be astronomical even at our minimum wage. It's kinda the way the world works at the moment. I doubt you'd be willing to work at a factory for 70 hours a week for $295 a week. Thats $4.21 an hour average with 30 hours of it at overtime which I'm guessing is time and a half like here.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by DoubleD View Post
      Like most things sold in the US, if it was made here 80% of us couldn't afford to buy them because production cost would be astronomical even at our minimum wage. It's kinda the way the world works at the moment. I doubt you'd be willing to work at a factory for 70 hours a week for $295 a week. Thats $4.21 an hour average with 30 hours of it at overtime which I'm guessing is time and a half like here.
      Agreed on this one. The cost of producing something domestically would jump the price of the products. And then people would argue about the price being so high. It really is a hard battle to win for companies.
    1. George Lopez's Avatar
      George Lopez -
      This is truly sad, they really took a bite of the poison apple. I wonder if mr
      jobs can sleep at night.

      Of course he can! He has a friggin iBed! Buster!
    1. Nickaroni22's Avatar
      Nickaroni22 -
      I believe I'd quit my job before I killed myself over it. It sad this goes on in our world.