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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. Success.Is.Sweet's Avatar
      Success.Is.Sweet -
      Heard it a week ago.
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      thats sad
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      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.
    1. indyracer05's Avatar
      indyracer05 -
      THis is sooo wrong and very sad
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      In China work kills YOU
    1. PAKIS-RULEZ's Avatar
      PAKIS-RULEZ -
      playing low and getting hi$$$ apple is very low! **** suspense and hiding the iphone or net tech from public thats what killing ppl! and its apple to blame!
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      In soviet russia, building jump off YOU
    1. eZStaR's Avatar
      eZStaR -
      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
      Lmfao.
    1. z3r01's Avatar
      z3r01 -
      In USA people usually kill their supervisor...
    1. tgabriel123's Avatar
      tgabriel123 -
      Quote Originally Posted by z3r01 View Post
      In USA people usually kill their supervisor...
      haha very true.
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      Quote Originally Posted by lolcats1 View Post
      In soviet russia, building jump off YOU
      Ahahahaha you mean In China Buildings jump off YOU?
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      I find it more interesting that many articles on all news sites always say Apple, no mention of others. I am glad this one points out that Foxconn does build parts for many, many other companies too.
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      This thread made me lols
    1. eortizr's Avatar
      eortizr -
      interesting they use Dell Computers to test the ipads?
    1. stryker10's Avatar
      stryker10 -
      interesting they use Dell Computers to test the ipads?
      Dells and Ipads have alot in common Theay Both suck!!! Lol just kidding
    1. Luppin's Avatar
      Luppin -
      So Apple employs outrageously under-paid workers, AND sells their products for outrageously high prices?
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by eortizr View Post
      interesting they use Dell Computers to test the ipads?
      PC runs the world
    1. iPhone3G[S]'s Avatar
      iPhone3G[S] -
      Quote Originally Posted by Success.Is.Sweet View Post
      Heard it a week ago.
      That was number 9 you heard a week ago...

      Quote Originally Posted by Luppin View Post
      So Apple employs outrageously under-paid workers, AND sells their products for outrageously high prices?
      Go read again, they are paid the average over there, if not a little better, and better work conditions then tons of other places they could be working.

      Quote Originally Posted by cerote View Post
      I find it more interesting that many articles on all news sites always say Apple, no mention of others. I am glad this one points out that Foxconn does build parts for many, many other companies too.
      Ditto
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Unix runs a chunck of the world too.
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      Dells make good screens?

      DOH