Ninth suicide committed at Foxconn

Source:Global Times Published: 2010-5-17 17:05:38

A 21-year-old employee of Foxconn Technology Group in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, surnamed Liang, committed suicide jumping from a seven-floor dormitory building at 10. p.m. on May 14.

This is the ninth suicide case in the firm since the beginning of the year.

Liang was declared dead an hour after being rushed to a local hospital, police said. Liang's body sustained four knife cuts, and according to the police, he hacked himself before leaping off the building.

The motives for the suicide are still under investigation.

Liang, who was born in China's Anhui Province, joined the company in November last year.

The consecutive suicide cases have put the company on the spotlight as suspicion from the public suggests that the suicides were due to intense labor and work pressure. The company has a reputation of squeezing employees in order to get results.

While Liu Kun, spokesman of Foxconn, said that the firm extends its deepest condolences to the families and that they are trying to find out whether there has been any management oversight, but said that these deaths are caused by several factors like, love, unhappiness, distance from family, and so on.

As to whether the firm is a "bloody factory", Liu commented that "if the firm was a 'bloody factory', why would interview candidates line up in crowds in order to enter the company?"

Liu also said that the firm has begun to take preventive measures such as opening a psychological consultation hot line and psychological consultation lab to help employees ease the pressure.

In addition, the firm has created a reward-system in which employees who report colleagues having out-of-ordinary behavior are rewarded with 200 yuan.

According to some local media reports, the employees interviewed said that overtime work is a natural occurrence on busy seasons only, and that work pressure is not as grave as mentioned.

Working in different departments cause employees to seldom have chance of communication and that sometimes they don't even know the names of their roommates. To analysts, the past tragedies are the company's management system to blame.

Wang Tongxin, vice chairman of Shenzhen's general labor union, said that the strict management in Foxconn does not seem to affect those born in 1960s and 1970s since this generation is traditionally more focused on basic necessities, while those born in 1980s or 1990s ( the nine who committed suicide are within this age group), which account for most of the company's employees, tend to pursue greater wealth.

On May 11, a female employee surnamed Zhu, killed herself by jumping off a rented apartment in Shenzhen.

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