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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. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      this may sound odd...but this actually makes me not want an iPad.

      just bad karma.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Then you may want to steer away from a lot of products; not just Apple's. Foxconn is massive company with many contracts with many top companies. But even beyond electronics there are many products that are made in sub-par factories.
    1. Eninety2's Avatar
      Eninety2 -
      I love how it's the same people complaining about Apples business practices that complain about their prices.

      United Stated of Hypocrites if you ask me.

      Look at the poverty level in the US and you get very similar results.
    1. Oddphone's Avatar
      Oddphone -
      11 in 100,000
      110 in 1,000,000
      11,000 in 100,000,000
      This makes about 27,500 suicides in the U.S. every year. Zeal, I really hope someone killing themselves isn't the source of your laughter. As for the question of paying higher prices, all of the companies involved make **** loads of money off near slave labor ($295 for 70 hours=$4.21/hour without 1 1/2 for 30) But Apple receives much much more being their prices are steep. I would expect such a superior company like apple would not use the same assemblers as everyone else. By the way apple speaks of their products you would think Angels crap them out. Its probably true about the rate, is about or below normal but it doesn't excuse China and its business practices. Believe me I'm no cow kissing tree huger but its sad. China needs the world. Does the world need China,really? In 10 to 15 years Chinas' baby boomers are seniors and cheap abundant labor goes bye-bye. What then?

      Quote Originally Posted by Eninety2 View Post
      I love how it's the same people complaining about Apples business practices that complain about their prices.

      United Stated of Hypocrites if you ask me.

      Look at the poverty level in the US and you get very similar results.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, that said, you sound very ignorant.
    1. rickstrada103's Avatar
      rickstrada103 -
      when life's looking down... XANAX!
    1. Pitbull2o08's Avatar
      Pitbull2o08 -
      It's sad and unfortunate but life goes on.
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      Quote Originally Posted by eortizr View Post
      interesting they use Dell Computers to test the ipads?
      they wont exactly use Macs, they are way too expensive and not flexible enough for factories.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zeal View Post
      In China work kills YOU
      Quote Originally Posted by lolcats1 View Post
      In soviet russia, building jump off YOU
      my exact thoughts
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      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.
      I think the idea behind that is rich countries outsource manufacturing to poorer countries, thus building their economy. Eventually those once poor countries grow (think S. Korea) and begin to outsource to countries who are poorer still. Eventually everyone is poor, but not too poor, and socialism becomes moderately more practical.
    1. iDriftKing's Avatar
      iDriftKing -
      didn't they hire psychologists to prevent this?
    1. jdys_1991's Avatar
      jdys_1991 -
      Quote Originally Posted by pauldanielash View Post
      Two more workers had also tried to kill themselves but survived.
      Fail.
    1. faschierbasis's Avatar
      faschierbasis -
      Just imagine working there, surrounded by gadets you can't afford. Must be tempting to steal!! Maybe sell it and take 2 month off:-)
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Luppin View Post
      So Apple employs outrageously under-paid workers, AND sells their products for outrageously high prices?
      As expected you would blame Apple. I'm guessing you probably think Apple is the only one who does this. I'm sure you know that several companies move their products over seas to get built and then sold back to the U.S. for higher costs. Nahh you're prob still in that mentality of only Apple does all wrong and no one else.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      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.
      Consumers are at fault here too. We don't really NEED any of these products. They simply make our lives more convenient and enjoyable and we don't tend to think about the costs involved.

      Quote Originally Posted by hollow0 View Post
      As expected you would blame Apple. I'm guessing you probably think Apple is the only one who does this. I'm sure you know that several companies move their products over seas to get built and then sold back to the U.S. for higher costs. Nahh you're prob still in that mentality of only Apple does all wrong and no one else.
      The problem with this response is you are now justifying a bad practice with "everyone else does it". Who cares if everyone else is just as bad as Apple in this case? The point is, we don't want Apple to be... Apple is not competitively pricing a damn thing, either.

      Quote Originally Posted by Pitbull2o08 View Post
      It's sad and unfortunate but life goes on.
      Not for the guy that just died.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      The problem with this response is you are now justifying a bad practice with "everyone else does it". Who cares if everyone else is just as bad as Apple in this case? The point is, we don't want Apple to be... Apple is not competitively pricing a damn thing, either.
      Wrong. I have not justified anything. It is completely wrong what they are doing and i'm sure Apple is looking in it. The point of my previous reply was to show ignorance of someone who always blames Apple for something and act like they are the only ones who would do such a thing. I never once justified or implied bad practices.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Is there a curse in Apple factories in China?
    1. eZStaR's Avatar
      eZStaR -
      Quote Originally Posted by lolcats1 View Post
      PC runs the world
      Only because there cheap, not because there superior.
    1. billmilo's Avatar
      billmilo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zeal View Post
      In China work kills YOU
      that's true for any country.

      the joke should have been: in china you kill work
    1. riku98523's Avatar
      riku98523 -
      Quote Originally Posted by pauldanielash View Post
      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.
      Who said this? Did Apple say this or did you just add it to spice up the news? That line effectively calls us consumers heartless assholes.

      Quote Originally Posted by eZStaR View Post
      Only because there cheap, not because there superior.
      Umm 1. A Mac is a PC (PC=Personal Computer) 2. PC in the way you are referring to it (computers that run windows and Linux) are without a doubt superior to Macs they have better hardware for half the cost how is that not superior? $2000 Mac book pro with a Dual core CPU OR a Computer built for $1,200 with an i7 quad (or hexa) cpu (that means up to 12 processing threads) running a FAR superior Linux OS.
    1. BELLISSIMA's Avatar
      BELLISSIMA -
      poor him