×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 3450
Thursday, 27 May 2010 05:26

U.S. manufacturers look into Chinese factory suicides

By

Responding to a recent spate of worker suicides at the Foxconn manufacturing plant, Apple, Dell, and HP have announced separate investigations into working conditions at the factory.


Foxconn's facility in Shenzhen, China, is one of the largest contract electronics manufacturing plants in the country, housing and employing 300,000 people.

Since the beginning of the year, nine workers have died from falling off buildings at the plant; police have called seven of them suicides. In addition, two other worker have tried to kill themselves by jumping off a building but survived.

As reported in Bloomberg Businessweek, three U.S. clients of Foxconn (also known as the Hon Hai Group) have vowed to investigate the deaths and working conditions at Foxconn.

Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling said his company is "saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn."

"A team from Apple is independently evaluating the steps they are taking to address these tragic events and we will continue our ongoing inspections of the facilities where our products are made," vowed Dowling.

For HP and Dell's actions, see Page 2.



HP also confirmed to Bloomberg that it was investigating "the Foxconn practices that may be associated with these tragic events."

And a Dell spokesperson told CNet that company was on the case as well, saying that "we expect our suppliers to employ the same high standards we do in our own facilities."

Labor rights groups have long criticized Foxconn for its treatment of workers. Li Qiang, executive director of China Labor Watch, has said the company "tramples" its workers' value for the sake of efficiency.

And even the China Daily has weighed in with a critical editorial.

"Foxconn may not be a sweatshop in the sense that it physically abuses its employees or forces them to work extra hours," the paper wrote. "But that does not mean it is showing enough humanitarian concern for its employees. And, neither does it imply that it is doing enough to foster a corporate culture that helps employees strike a healthier work-life balance."

In an attempt to repair the company's image, Hon Hai chairman Terry Hou brought busloads of journalists to the factory to express his regret over the deaths and show off the plant's amenities.

For more on Foxconn's reaction, see Page 3.



Gou told reporters that he was having trouble sleeping at night because of the suicides.

At the same time, he insisted that most Foxconn workers were happy with their lives and work. "We want to make every worker have a happy life and work environment here," said the chairman.

The factory tour included a stop at the swimming pool and the company cafeteria. It also featured a stop at a counseling and hotline center.

Gou said he was confident the situation would get better, now that there were counselors on site to support workers.

 

 


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

GRAND OPENING OF THE ITWIRE SHOP

The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.

ENTER THE SHOP NOW!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments