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Foxconn suicide rate sparks investigation

If you are looking for a new long term career then it appears you should avoid Foxconn (Hon Hai Group), especially if the recent suicide toll is anything to go by.

Foxconn supply components for many companies including Apple, Dell and Hewlett Packard and each of these companies are opening their own investigations, clearly concerned with damage to their reputation and public perception. Apple said they were ‘saddened and upset’ by the suicides and they have a team investigating. Dell and HP are also examining reports about the recent deaths to try and figure out if the working conditions are a part of the cause. Some labour rights groups have labeled the conditions as ‘sweatshop’. KitGuru doesn’t think this is something new mind you, it has been going on for years within various companies in the Far East.

Foxconn generate a staggering $40 billion a year and supply desktop computer components, televisions and electronics and circuitry for mobile phones including the Apple iPhone.

So far nine people have died with two more attempting suicide and at least four of these deaths happened in the last month which is deeply concerning. Jess Blackburn, a spokesman for Round Rock, Texas oriented Dell said “We expect our suppliers to employ the same high standards we do.”

Billionaire Foxconn (Hon Hai Group) chairman Terry Gou says he has not slept well in the last month and decided to gather a group of journalists aboard buses to tour the Longhua campus in Shenzhen, southern China. In a sad twist the parents of Ma Xiangqian, one of the people who died, watched all this from the south entrance … on the ground crying and holding a picture of their deceased son.

A Foxconn manager, Chen Zhonglei said that the young workers were not as ready to take on the same hardship as the older workers and that “Psychologically they’re more fragile.” Li Qiang, the executive director of New York based China Labor Watch said that Foxconn “trample workers personal values for the sake of efficiency”.

Top boss Gou made an apology to everyone in a recent news conference stating that they are going to increase their psychological testing to help stop the death rate.

KitGuru says: You would think with a $40 billion a year turnover that these deaths could somehow have been avoided.

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