Eleven Foxconn workers leap from high buildings in a spate of suicide attempts, nine fatally.
I’m sure most of you reading this post will have some idea who Foxconn are. They’re the Chinese manufacturer responsible for near enough everything technology related, from motherboards to iPhones. What you may not know about is what goes on in their plants. This year alone there have been 11 attempted suicides by Foxconn employees, 9 of them successful.
The latest suicide happened when a worker plunged from the top of a four-storey building in the south China town of Shenzhen on Friday, the same day the death of another Foxconn worker earlier this year at a north China plant was revealed.
Nan Gang, a 21-year-old man, climbed to the top of a factory building in Foxconn's industrial complex in Longhua Township and fell to his death at 4:37 a.m., said Huang Jianwei, a spokesman of the Bao'an Police Station, of the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau.
The same day, the district government of Anci in Langfang City, Hebei Province, confirmed that Rong Bo, a 19-year-old man, jumped off the dormitory building in the Langfang plant on Jan. 8.
A female worker, 16-year-old Wang Lingyan, was found dead of natural causes on her dormitory bed on Feb. 23 in the Langfang plant.
"I think the problems lay with the workers," says Zeng Hongling, a workmate of Lu Xin, 24, who was the seventh person to kill himself this year. "Lu was too eager to be successful and lost his way later after seeing how hard it is to get rich quickly."
Of Foxconn's 800,000 employees in China, 420,000 are based in Shenzhen, where they work different shifts and live in a massive factory complex.
Talking and phone calls are strictly banned during work hours and workers are not allowed to leave production lines unless the line supervisor temporarily takes their place, says Foxconn employee Cheng Lin.
The repetition of identical production procedures with little technical content for long hours every day, and the military-style management dehumanize workers, said industrial relations expert Liu Kaiming, of the Shenzhen-based Institute of Contemporary Observation (ICO).
It’s hard to know what to say about this really.
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