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Reporter uncovers grim working conditions at Foxconn plant

updated 07:35 pm EDT, Wed May 19, 2010

Suicide cluster still left unexplained

An undercover reporter from the Chinese liberal newspaper Southern Weekly has taken a closer look at the working conditions inside Foxconn's factory in Shenzhen, China. The investigation exposed grim working conditions in the factory that has seen nine suicide attempts, with seven confirmed deaths, in less than six months.

The paper sent amateur reporter Liu Zhi Yi to the plant to pose as a young worker and interview many of the employees. Liu suggests the company forces workers to work extremely long hours, only leaving enough extra time to sleep and eat. Many employees allegedly yearn to drop a component, as bending over might be the only chance to break from the constant standing on assembly lines.

Foxconn is said to require employees to sign an overtime waiver that shields the company from government scrutiny over the long hours without additional compensation. Workers are said to bring in monthly wages equivalent to just $130 USD, well below what they would need to even buy one of the Apple products they help to create.

The report blames the recent surge in suicide attempts on Foxconn's working conditions, although it is unlikely that the workers would find a better alternative among other large factories in the region. Foxconn currently employs over 450,000 individuals, representing a group larger than the entire populations of many US cities. [via M.I.C Gadget]

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. ilovestevejobs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple and many other comp. is responsible for this

    Steve Blowjobs should really look into this

  1. chas_m



    Apple and Foxconn

    Apple does need to investigate this on their own and, if the reports are substantiated, make changes.

    I will say, however, that my guess would be that if any other cellphone manufacturer's plants were investigated, we'd find the same thing. This isn't Apple as much as it is life in China.

  1. ilovestevejobs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So people (presumably fanboys) doesn't agree that Apple should look into this?

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    We'll see what Apple does

    Apple is the company that censors Dalai Lama apps in China.

    They may do the right thing, but they've bowed to pressure to do the wrong thing before.

    I found the second photo looks like someone is taking a bat to an inflatable Jughead from the old Archie comics? wuh??

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not defending Apple, per se...

    Apple contracts the company to produce the parts or assemble the parts. It is the company that is mistreating it's employees. Apple can make constant visits to check on conditions, but it is the Chinese government that's not doing their job. There is so much corruption in China. If it's not horrendous working conditions, it's hazardous materials being used in jewelry {like cadmium) or industrial chemicals used to make food products that kill their own people. The corrupt government inspectors give the company a heads up if an inspection is coming up. This is a Chinese problem and it's up to them to clean up ultra clean sweat shops. Apple doesn't hire and fire the employees. What Apple could do is find another company to make the parts, but how will they know the next company won't abuse their employees once the inspectors leave the premises.

    China needs to clean up it's act.

  1. stormj

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Come on


    This is only a news item because people expect Apple to be saintly, just like the Greenpeace thing. It's perfectly non-newsworthy when it's any other company, but they never miss a chance to sling it on Apple.

  1. Mike Richardson

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Or maybe...

    you know... if we weren't slaves to the cheap chinese factories, we could make the fricking phones here in AMERICA.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Does anyone really think Apple gives a flying-Fu5k about "Workers' Conditions"? As long as the stock prices keep going up and their fat shareholders keep getting fatter, Apple could care less.

    POINTLESS ARTICLE to those of us with deep wallets in the developed world who can afford premium Apple Kit.

    * Move along... Nothing here to see*

    Oh yeah, make the iPhone in America. I don't think even the keenest of iFanbois would shell out for a $1200 iPhone (hey, Stevie-boy needs to keep the profit margin up). Or maybe they would....

  1. Foxypaco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nothing new here

    I worked for a Chinese owned company in the Bay Area and they had a couple factories in China. From what I was told, the "sweat shop" conditions are normal out there. Many of the people who work at the factories live in the mountains. So instead of "commuting" they end up living at the factory for the work week and then go home on the weekends.

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