iSuicides prevented at Foxconn by life-treasuring pledge-signing

6 May 2011

nets_foxconn

What’s the best way to deal with multiple suicides at Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturing company that make Apple gadgets (among other things)? More nets under the windows? Prozac in the water supply? Chain the employees to their workstations?

Nope. Get them to sign a pledge, vowing that they’ll ‘treasure their lives’ and promise not to top themselves. That should do it.

It’s one of the worrying findings in a report by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations and Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (Sacom) who have investigated the goings-on at Foxconn factories.

Other findings that have been highlighted include…

Excessive overtime is routine, despite a legal limit of 36 hours a month. One payslip, seen by the Observer, indicated that the worker had performed 98 hours of overtime in a month.

Workers attempting to meet the huge demand for the first iPad were sometimes pressured to take only one day off in 13.

In some factories badly performing workers are required to be publicly humiliated in front of colleagues.

Crowded workers' dormitories can sleep up to 24 and are subject to strict rules. One worker told the NGO investigators that he was forced to sign a "confession letter" after illicitly using a hairdryer. In the letter he wrote: "It is my fault. I will never blow my hair inside my room. I have done something wrong. I will never do it again."

Go on – off you trot to enjoy your various iGadgets. You sick bunch of oddballs.

15 comments

  • The B.
    98 hours of overtime in a month? I did that on our latest release cycle (6+ month project performed in 3 months), in fact I think it worked out to 112, I'm still alive, no suicidal thoughts at all, murderous thoughts towards management certainly but suicidal, no.
  • The B.
    Mind you, saying that, he got paid for his 96 hours, the bastard, I get nothing except platitudes.
  • yeah O.
    @The Real Bob - shut up mate you just sound stupid.
  • yeah O.
    @The Real Bob: You sound a bit sad mate - you can clearly live on you're basic salary - so how can you start to compare with the Foxcomm workers?
  • Boris
    96 hours! Well we had it tough. Ad infinitum.
  • The B.
    @clueless - I think you mean "your" basic salary don't you and yes I do, well done for working that out, I thought I'd said that already but thanks to your huge mental prowess we now have it confirmed, I'm pretty sure no one can force you to do overtime even under the Chinese regime, so what's the point?
  • yeah O.
    @The Real Nob "’m pretty sure no one can force you to do overtime even under the Chinese regime" Sure about that, are you? Grammar Police dickhead.
  • Boris
    This spat seems to be getting personal. Please keep it up.
  • The B.
    Don't be silly, it would only be personal if I gave a monkeys about some simpering little troll's opinion, as it is I can only hope his parents pull him off his computer and make him go play in the sunshine with the other kids, then maybe he can make some friends and develop a personality.
  • yeah O.
    You still haven't given any references for your sweeping statements regarding Chinese workers employment rights. Still, why bother when you can call someone a troll because they called you out on some complete and utter bullshit you wrote on a forum. Tool. Admit it, you just enjoy the attention, because we both know no-one in the real world listens to your inarticulate, uninformed drivel.
  • klingelton
    Oh no he didn't!
  • crap
    JER-RY! JER-RY! JER-RY!
  • The B.
    Sweeping statements? I think not old son, I simply stated "I’m pretty sure no one can force you to do overtime even under the Chinese regime" that's one statement not in the least bit sweeping. It's likely that companies working for the Chinese government with no external client base will acceed if asked to by the government, mainly because the Chinese government has been known to arrest and execute people for disagreeing with them However, forcing staff to work overtime when you have a large Western client base such as Foxconn does, which would effectively lose you the client base and destroy your company (human rights abuses always look bad on a company CV) seems unlikely in the extreme. The article actually states "Workers attempting to meet the huge demand for the first iPad were sometimes pressured to take only one day off in 13.", note, there was no mention of being forced, and I'd guess the "pressure" was something along the lines of "the company will lose the contract and you'll lose your job unless we hit the deadline which we're not on schedule to at the moment, can you do the hours", which is basically what happens to me (and many others) all the time, hence my comments above, all perfectly valid. So, how exactly do your comments and abuse add anything other than making you look like an enormous infantile troll? Because frankly that's how you come off, as Andy says, "thanks for playing".
  • The B.
    Still, it's good to see that exactly the same as the last time when you were trolling, calling me a racist because I said that Huawei had previous on industrial espionage, you've run away, c'est la vie.
  • David
    I've visited some of these places first-hand. Yes, the workers work hard. Yes there is pressure to perform. But remember this is a country run by The People and they have labour rights which are actually upheld sometimes (unlike here in Britain where they are written in law yet rarely upheld as workers try to keep their jobs). I know people in the UK working in excess of 16-hour days (2 days off a fortnight) and who are not paid overtime. It's time we took care of our own instead of preaching to the rest of the world about how they should behave - they certainly don't give a rat's behind what we do to our workers here.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment