Police Investigating Three More Apparent Suicides at Foxconn Factories - HotHardware
Police Investigating Three More Apparent Suicides at Foxconn Factories

Police Investigating Three More Apparent Suicides at Foxconn Factories

It's been awhile since we've heard about worker suicides taking place at Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) and we hoped it would stay that way. Unfortunately, it appears that three more individuals may have decided to end their lives, something that has been an ongoing problem at Foxconn amid reports of poor working conditions.

These are three separate incidents that occurred within the past four weeks, according to PCWorld. The first occured on April 27 when a worker employed at the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou fell to his death. It happened again at the same plant on May 14. In between those two incidents, a worker at Foxconn's Chongqing facility was found dead on May 11. Police are investigating all three incidents, though Foxconn says the two deaths in Zhengzhou had nothing to do with work.

"Suicide is a complex issue, there is no one reason that can ever be cited for any such incident," Foxconn said in a statement.

Foxconn Building

These latest incidents come on the heels of an audit by the U.S.-based Fair Labor Association (FLA), which noted "significant progress" in reducing employee working time to 60 hours per week at three separate facilities in Shenzhen and Chengdu. However, Foxconn's goal is to reduce that number to 49 hours, which it hopes to do by July of this year.

Foxconn employs over 1.2 million people in China. The company manufacturers electronic devices for Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and several other well known companies. One worker who wished not to be identified stated that "the pressure from the job and also some personal problems" likely caused the suicides, according to PCWorld.

"We work in a closed environment and people can't vent their issues. So instead, workers go jump down from buildings and die," the worker said.
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The problem at Foxconn is not worker treatment or salaries. The same problem happens at U.S. colleges every day. Near times of intense study college students begin to vanish and commit suicide.

There have never been suicides associated with sweatshop conditions, such as the garment industry in New York. But at France Telecom with 35 hour work weeks and union negotiated wages, there have been over 60 suicide attempts with a disputed number of deaths. Unions claim more attempts and as many as 58 deaths over about three years.

Considering the size of the two work forces France Telecom is a bigger problem.

Video and pictures taken by TV news crews inside the facilities show the problem in both countries is Subliminal Distraction. Discovered when it caused mental breaks for office workers, explained in first semester college psychology, the cubicle was designed to block peripheral vision for a concentrating worker to stop it by 1968. Foxconn put concentrating electronics assembly line workers too close together without peripheral vision blocking protection. (Cubicle Level Protection)

I reached Foxconn but their Ph,D, investigator could not understand the simple problem. Apple would not respond to two letters. Every computer and every piece of software ever sold should have carried a Subliminal Distraction warning.

No matter what else they do the suicides won't stop until Foxconn corrects the design problem with their workstations. A pair of safety glasses with wide temple arms blacked out to block peripheral vision would stop the suicides for pennies per worker in China. VisionAndPsychosis.Net explains the human physiology involved.

In nine years I found only one psychiatrist who had seen the episodes from offices when he was in residency. Otherwise this engineering/design problem with human physiology, the vision startle reflex, and (usually) crowded knowledge work conditions is unknown in mental health services.

Anyone with a computer at home or a child in school should be aware of Subliminal Distraction to be able to avoid it.

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