updated 10:40 am EDT, Fri November 5, 2010
Breaks brief lull
Electronics manufacturer Foxconn has reported its 14th worker suicide of the year, according to Reuters. Though the dead person is not being identified by name, he is said to have been a 23-year-old man, found outside one of Foxconn's Shenzhen campus dormitories earlier today. "The police are carrying out an investigation into this matter and Foxconn is cooperating fully with that process," a company statement reads. "We have expressed our condolences to the family of the deceased employee." China's official Xinhua news agency reports that the man fell.
The death marks an end to a five-month lull in the suicides at Foxconn factories this year. Some groups, such as labor rights organizations, have used the situation to draw attention to poor working conditions. The company has been accused of making people work long hours for extremely low pay, and even tolerating abuse. Although it has promised to take measures like increasing pay, reducing overtime hours and building factories closer to where many workers come from, it has also denied any abuse, and been accused of dragging its heels on promised pay raises.
Foxconn is a crucial manufacturing partner for Western companies like Dell, HP and Apple. Apple in particular depends on Foxconn to assemble several products, most notably the iPhone and iPad.