Mass suicide by Foxconn workers narrowly averted

11 January 2012

nets_foxconn

It seems as though the problems at Foxconn’s gadget-making factory in China haven’t gone away, and a recent mass suicide was averted at the last minute, with 300 workers persuaded not to jump as they stood on the edge of the building instrad of making Xbox 360s. Foxconn have previously installed anti-suicide nets around the edge of the building, but we’re guessing that they wouldn’t be all that effective if 300 people plunge through them at once.

The ultimate protest happened recently after workers’ requests for a pay rise was rebuffed and they were told that they could quite with compensation or stay in their jobs on the same money. Those who quit reportedly returned for the mass suicide attempt once the promised compensation failed to materialise. Foxconn, who employ a staggering 400,000 people, closed down the factory to deal with the protest, which apparently ended peacefully.

As well as Xbox 360s, Foxconn employees work tirelessly to make gadgets and gizmos for Apple, Amazon, Nintendo, Dell and Sony in a walled factory campus in Shenzhen. Dear readers, does it bother you that the beautiful gadgets that you lovingly prize are crafted by people who regularly feel compelled to take their own lives? Or are you not arsed? Your thoughts would be welcomed in the box below.

[Atlantic Wire]

TOPICS:   Games   World News

8 comments

  • Onion
    It does make me feel a little guilty. There must be something we can do to help the situation. (Apart from buying the goods of course)
  • Paul
    I would feel guilty, but I don't think I own anything made by Foxconn (at least I hope not!) and it's not the consumer's fault if Apple, etc... want to use such a controversial company to manufacture their toys.
  • klingelton
    Stop buying the goods and all their jobs disappear. Keep buying the goods and they behave like a load of lemmings. Catch 22 situation really. Personally, I believe it's up to foxconn management to increase the asking price of production and pass that on to the workers. It's them that have the moral duty to ensure the well being of the staff them employ. For those who state that those costs will be passed on to the end consumer, you must understnat that price paid is not only dictated by demand and supply, but also what people can and are willing to pay. This is what leads to the disparity in pricing between the likes of the UK and the US of Americaland.
  • Suck M.
    Looking forward to the new range of next gen consoles from Micorsoft, Nintendo and Sony, surely one or all of them will have a Chinese Lemmings game. I thought the Chinese were supposed to be smart, start building single floor factories and save a fortune on jump netting, even better build them underground with no natural light and chain the workers to their workstations, I bet this would drastically reduce the cost of a Playstation 4 :)
  • Rich
    "told that they could ***quite*** with compensation" I don't know what's worse the spelling or the suicides!
  • jah128
    Paul - you don't think you own anything made by Foxconn? So, what exactly did you type that comment on? Almost every (yes, every) single item of consumer electronics will contains at least some parts made by Foxconn - they are an absolutely massive company on a scale beyond pretty much all other manufacturing companies in the world. As for the suicides - it is important to remember that the suicide rate amongst Foxconn workers (from most reports it is less than 20 over the last 5 years, for 800,000 workers = ~0.5 per 100,000 per year) is absolutely dwarfed by the Chinese average rates (22.3/100k/year) and UK rates (6.9/100k/year)...
  • CapitalistBitchBoy
    I think its worth it. Definitely.
  • Frank P.
    My bikes made by them. I think they should up production and cut pay.

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