Silence Finally Broken in Foxconn Suicide Saga - HotHardware
Silence Finally Broken in Foxconn Suicide Saga

Silence Finally Broken in Foxconn Suicide Saga

We'd like to say that Foxconn has been under fire for a rash of employee suicides that have occurred this year, but up until now, the company hasn't really been under fire at all, not by those who have the power to make a difference, anyway. It was less than a week ago that we reported another Foxconn worker had fallen from a building to his death, at the time the tenth fall since the start of the year, eight of which ended up being fatal. It's a sad situation and we questioned why there was a veil of silence, not just from Foxconn, but also from the companies who use Foxconn for manufacturing of their products, including Apple.

Well, the veil of silence has finally been lifted, starting with a long overdue apology from Foxconn's CEO, Gou Tai-Ming, to the victims' families. Tai-Ming also explained what steps are being taken to prevent further suicides.

"We want every employee to be happy while working here, and with a happy life," Tai-Ming said. "This is our goal which has been advertised, today, the goal will not change, as for the future, it will not change too. What we have to change, is to strengthen the future (on employee happiness while working). We did a lot of work, I will show you my record diary of our conference meeting, we have 70 psychiatrist to prevent suicides, we have trained 100 voluntary workers, they need to pass the exam to qualify for the care and counseling department. As our suicide prevent mechanism, we now have a reporting system for it, a 50-member working group is soon to be established…"



Seemingly sincere, Tai-Ming said the suicides have taken a toll on him as well, so much so that he himself is considering psychiatric counseling. At the same time, Tai-Ming doesn't seem to have a handle on the situation. It was reported by Micgadget.com that Tai-Ming has asked the media to stop reporting on the suicides, and at one point it seems that Foxconn had considered having employees sign a "No Suicide" clause freeing Foxconn from any legal liability.

Tai-Ming isn't the only one who is finally speaking out. Apple, one of Foxconn's biggest customers, said they have launched their own investigation.

"We are saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn," Apple said. "We're in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are taking this matter very seriously. A team from Apple is independently evaluating the steps they are taking to address these tragic events and we will continue our ongoing inspections of the facilities where our products are made."

Dell too has come forward with a statement:

"We expect our suppliers to employ the same high standards we do in our own facilities," Dell said. "We enforce these standards through a variety of tools, including the Electronics Industry code of conduct, business reviews with suppliers, self-assessments and audits."

And in an email to Businessweek, HP said they are investigating "the Foxconn practices that may be associated with these tragic events."

Whether or not any of this will result in fewer suicides remains to be seen, but at least companies appear to no longer be burying their collective heads in the sand.
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So the suicides were basically caused by incredibly bad working conditions?

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>> Tai-Ming also explained what steps are being taken to prevent further suicides...

>> We did a lot of work, I will show you my record diary of our conference meeting, we have 70 psychiatrist to prevent suicides, we have trained 100 voluntary workers, they need to pass the exam to qualify for the care and counseling department

Call me evil, bud did anyone ever consider locking the door to the roof?

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3vi1, I think people can still leap out through the windows and a 5 storey fall can be damaging enough. I am not advising them to have metal grills on all their windows and then lock the roofs, but its just a thought.

Back here in Bangalore, India, residential builders have their multi-storied apartment roofs locked. Strange! coz they are all atleast 20+ floors and there are balconies on 20th floor house as well. Stick out tongue

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Yeah - where I work, the door to the roof is locked too.  Don't ask me how I know.  Heh

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3vi1,......what an elegant idea. Block access to the stinkin' roof and set the windows to open just an inch or two at the most. You could have shopped that for lot's of money over there, but now it's too late 'cause I just sent an email.

I think that they put far too much emphasis on 'face' and saving it in their society.

 

I found a site that interviews some of the Foxconn workers. Very revealing stuff.

http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/articles/2010_05_18/index.php

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"On May 25, Foxconn reportedly asked its employees to sign an anti-suicide agreement and promise that their families won't claim for any extra compensation except for what's prescribed by laws for any accidental incidents (including suicides). The agreement lasted for just one day before it was abolished on Wednesday, May 26, when Terry Kuo visited the Shenzhen factory. Kuo said that the agreement was cancelled as some of its wordings are not appropriate." - Ripped from ChinaTechNews.com. Read the story HERE.

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I have a novel idea. How about improving the lives of these people. Was reading somewhere that that level of suicide is normal in china. Which is just sad.

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Sounds like a sweat shop situation to me but I hope they really find a solution. If they don´t do something quick, could be the beginning of the end of Foxconn?

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MSNBC is reporting HERE that Foxconn is planning to raise salaries by about 20%. This is after another employee jumped to his death late Wednesday, and still another slit his wrists.

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Not only raise salaries to 20% but including a better treatment for the employees and changes the work hours wich are terrible: 7:30 am and ends at 4:30 pm. 10-hour days.

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