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A young man became the 10th worker to jump to his death at a Foxconn Technology Group factory in southern China, just hours after the company’s chairman toured the plant that makes iPods and other top-selling gadgets, state-run media said.

How does one apply cost-benefit analysis to something like this? It would seem the cost of one’s own death would outweigh any possible benefit, but maybe that is a reflection of my western culture and ideas.

Labor activists have long said that Foxconn’s problem was a rigid management style on factory floors, where the assembly line moved too fast and workers were forced to log too much overtime. Foxconn has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Stephen Palmer, director of the London Center for Stress Management, said it was difficult to know how unusually high the suicide rates were at a factory as big as the one in Shenzhen. He said suicide rates in China tend to be higher than normal, and that on a population level, there are about 13 suicides per 100,000 men and 14 per 100,000 women.

If it is true that the working conditions are so bad, and you consider that a young worker from western China may feel like there is no way out, perhaps with family pride and well-being resting on the young man’s shoulders, it gets only a tiny bit more reasonable.

Whatever, it is clear that the company and its management policies need to be scrutenized by not-too-sympathetic officials.

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4 Comments

  1. This news actually strikes me a lot. It is really hard for me understand what kind of pressure can have such effect which even overweigh the weight and importance of life?!
    Answer is simple, this company’s workers management and policy is extremely unmature with few of professional approaches.

    What’s more, in China, market system is unhealthy. China government stupidly fucking expects too much growth, the way of accomplishing this is to encourage unlimited development of companies. There is no legal right for workers to fight for their out-of-8-hour works. Most of workers hold overwhelming pressure. Such tragedy is normal, because China, this government is lacking in protecting human rights, it deserves it!

  2. Till this day, there are 13 workers (someone even said 14 or 15 workers!0,0!) had committed suicide. I have to say that the reality is so brutal…
    Those workers maybe take a heavy family responsibility or fight for their dream to be richer.Unfortunately, the place where they work is a hell. The life is miserable and hard. They don’t have chance to have a rest. Obviously, they lost themselves in Foxconn.Those bosses,who enjoy much better life and high profit, were regardless of workers’ rights and desires.
    Now,everyone are focusing on Foxconn and everyone criticize it. Then, the bosses begin to increase wages,add holidays and build more amenities for labors. What a sarcasm! Those rich men know what should be improved before the occurrence of some really disastrous things.
    But my mom said:”Those people suicided in order to let their family to get a load of compensatory payment. OMG, that sound…really… doubtable because the life is the most precious thing for a man, not money.

    • Please delete the comment above. I did something wrong…

  3. Till this day, there are 13 workers (someone even said 14 or 15 workers!0,0!) had committed suicide. I have to say that the reality is so brutal…
    Those workers maybe take a heavy family responsibility or fight for their dream to be richer.Unfortunately, the place where they work is a hell. The life is miserable and hard. They don’t have chance to have a rest. Obviously, they lost themselves in Foxconn.Those bosses,who enjoy much better life and high profit, were regardless of workers’ rights and desires.
    Now everyone is focusing on Foxconn and everyone criticize it. Then, bosses of Foxconn begin to increase wages, add holidays and build amenities for workers. What a sarcasm! Those rich men have known what should be improved after the occurrence of something really disastrous.
    But my mom said:” Those men suicided in order to let their families get a load of compensatory payments.” OMG! For me, this view…is…really doubtable. Because life is the most precious thing for a man, not money.


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