Ninth iPhone factory worker commits suicide

21 Mag/10

A ninth worker at Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has committed suicide.  21 year old Nan Gang leapt from the four story factory in the early hours of the morning yesterday, according to China’s state media, later reported by the BBC.

A total of 11 Foxconn employees have tried to kill themselves this year, two have survived.

Many western companies that rely on far-eastern factories for cheap mass-production of goods have been crisicised over the years for the manner in which workers are treated in their factories.  Apple however is one of the few that brought it’s own shortcomings to the public’s attention by publishing it’s own report on worker’s welfare last year, and vowing to take action.

Nevertheless this will raise further questions generally about the welfare of far-eastern factory workers in countries such as Taiwan and China, as Foxconn has had suicides for workers as young as 16.

Foxconn is a part of the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer electronics, Hon Hai Precision that employs 800,000 workers, mostly in China.

Foxconn said it took worker’s welfare seriously and said it was enlisting the support of counsellors and Buddhist moneks to provide emotional support at this difficult time.  However the Chinese givernments’ own Labour Watch has criticised the company for their “military-style administration and harsh working conditions”.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Nan Gang at this difficult time.

© Mike Halsey for gHacks technology news, 2010. | Permalink | Add to del.icio.us, digg, facebook, reddit, <a href="http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url=http://www.ghacks.net/2010/05/21/ninth-iphone-factory-worker-commits-suicide/&title=Ninth iPhone factory worker commits suicidestumbleupon, twitter
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