Foxconn Suicide: Have Factory Conditions Really Improved?

Just a few months after Apple’s promise to help improve conditions for its many factory workers, there has been another suicide reported at Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn. According to a statement from Foxconn, a 23 year old worker jumped from the roof of his apartment building in the city of Chengdu yesterday, having only been in employment at Foxconn for one month.

Apple first came under fire over factory conditions in 2010, when 18 workers jumped from the top of one factory, resulting in 14 deaths. Measures were put in place to try to prevent a repeat of events, nets were installed around buildings, and Foxconn hired counsellors to work with employees. More recently, 150 employees threatened to jump from the roof of another factory in a protest over working conditions at the beginning of the year. Earlier this month, a dispute in a company restaurant sparked a riot in the same Chengdu plant, involving about 1,000 workers.

This image is believed to show the Foxconn worker preparing to jump from a dormitary building on June 13, 2012

This shot allegedly depicts the man shortly before his death

All of these events clearly show that whatever is being done, it isn’t enough. The measures put in place by Foxconn are simply not working, and regardless of their involvment, Apple are going to get a bad rap for it. It was hoped that the steps taken by Apple would revolutionise the relationship between companies such as Apple and the factory their goods are produced in.

Apple have not released a statement at this time, but expect this story to develop over the next few days.



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