Can Entertainment Stem Foxconn Suicides?


Will some song and dance put smiles on Foxconn Workers?
Will some song and dance put smiles on Foxconn Workers?

Remember the good ol’ days of sweatshops? People toiled long hours for very little pay, but gosh ‘darn it, they were happy to have a job. These kids today, they aren’t grateful for the $100 they earn each month assembling iPods. That seems to be the message coming from Apple supplier Foxconn about why it is introducing ‘entertainment’ to boost the spirits of otherwise-suicidal workers.

“Unlike the previous generation of workers that regarded work and basic necessities as top priorities in life, post 80s workers don’t just work for money,” a special assistant to the chairman of Hon Hai, which trademarks the Foxconn name, told the Wall Street Journal Friday. About three-quarters of Foxconn’s workers are between 18 and 24 years old.

After trying suicide nets, increased pay and considering shipping workers out of town, Apple’s No. 1 supplier now thinks a bit of Hollywood will keep deaths down. Recently, thousands of workers got into costume, sang, danced and paraded in what must have been a pure YouTube moment.

In June, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the China workers suicides were “troubling,” but noted all of the recreational opportunities already available after a long day assembling iPhones. “It’s a factory, but my gosh, they have restaurants and movie theaters, but it’s a factory,” he told an audience at the All Things D Conference.

[AppleInsider, WSJ]