Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Suicide cluster" among slave wage workers making iPods in China


A 21-year-old male employee was the latest person to die by suicide at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company which manufactures Apple’s iPhone and iPod. The company has had 30 workers attempt suicide in the past three weeks at its Longhua plant which employs over 400,000 people. The young man jumped out of the seventh floor window of one of Foxconn's employee dormitories in Shenzhen, China.

Dubbed a "suicide cluster" by Telegraph columnist Malcolm Moore, the working conditions of employees at the plant were described as seven-day work weeks with 15-hour shifts of repetitive manufacturing. The nine Foxconn workers involved in suicide leaps this year were all aged under 25 and had worked for the company for less than six months.  Monthly wages are so low at the plant that employees cannot afford to buy the Apple products they are making.

Foxconn is beside itself trying to contain the rash of suicides at its plant.  The company's solution? A Buddhist monk was brought in to rid the factories of "evil spirits."  

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