Foxconn Workers to Sign ‘Anti-Suicide Pledge’ & Promise Not to Sue

Foxconn Workers to Sign ‘Anti-Suicide Pledge’ & Promise Not to Sue

Working conditions at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China, have long been the center of attention. 1 million Chinese workers build electronics for Apple, HP, Nokia, Palm and Sony at the plant, some are reportedly as young as 12; having to endure long, repetitive work under notoriously harsh conditions. At last count, at least 14 Foxconn workers have committed suicide in the last 16 months.

The plant is now ordering its employees to sign an ‘anti-suicide pledge’, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail. Under the pledge, employees must not attempt to kill themselves, and if they do, their families can only seek the minimum in damages.

A recent investigation at the Foxconn factory revealed that employee overtime was excessively above the legal limit of 36 hours per month. One employee payslip showed 98 hours of overtime in just one month.

During peak periods and major product launches, such as that of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2, employees were only allowed one day off every 13 days.

Workers are banned from talking to their colleagues and must stand for the duration of their 12 hour shifts. Those that perform poorly or break the rules are humiliated in front of the rest of the staff. A spokesman for the factory, Louis Woo, was asked to comment on allegations that the workforce was humiliated:

It is not something we endorse or encourage. However, I would not exclude that this might happen given the diverse and large population of our workforce.

While translations may vary, an excerpt from Foxconn’s pledge reads:

In the event of non-accidental injuries (including suicide, self mutilation, etc.), I agree that the company has acted properly in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, and will not sue the company, bring excessive demands, take drastic actions that would damage the company’s reputation or cause trouble that would hurt normal operations.

Foxconn officials have previously accused workers of committing suicide with the intent of securing large compensation for their families. The factory erected anti-suicide nets around dormitory buildings following advice from psychologists.

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  • Chico

    Again, given the population of the factory, this is a blip.

  • Overworked

    legal limit of 36 hours of OT per month?
    I used to do that every week, 6 to 7 – 12 hour shifts/week

  • WVMikeP

    Cleveland, OH has a higher suicide rate with a similar population.

  • amanda

    and im sure you were standing 12 hours straight through your whole shift right?

  • Truthhz

    Whatever let’s you sleep at night. Those working conditions are flat wrong, and Apple is reaping obscene profits on the backs of virtual slaves.

  • Truthhz

    Whatever let’s you sleep at night. Those working conditions are flat wrong, and Apple is reaping obscene profits on the backs of virtual slaves.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Given the level of stupidity involving your comment me and others on here can only ascertain that you are a grade A brain dead fucking douche with the IQ level of an ant.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Why don’t you increase the stats and take a running leap off a bridge ass wipe.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Unfortunately its not just Apple. The mega corps of the west are guilty of raping the third world so they can shove more money into their fat wallets. It’s a sad world Apple should be ashamed of themselves.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    I’m sure you also weren’t allowed to talk and I’m also sure you weren’t allowed to take a day off for 13 days straight, right? Tell me when you supposedly were working these so called long strenuous hours were you generally paid well? Did you have acceptable benefits? Did you have a safe work environment? Did you have acceptable labor laws that protected your welfare in event of accident and injury resulting in you not being able to work? YOUR COMMENT IS FULL OF UTTER FAIL AND PATHETIC BLIND FANBOYISM. Get off the net you stupid iSheep and try doing something productive like actually learning some hard facts about Chinese human rights violations.

    Heathen

  • WVMikeP

    God forbid someone puts the statistics in perspective. Why don’t we have mandatory no-suicide pledges for Cleveland? Similar population size as the Foxconn factory, yet more suicides. Where’s the outrage? Where’s the sympathy for Clevelanders?

  • WVMikeP

    He’s putting the numbers into perspective. Too bad you’re incapable of critical thinking. You should be careful throwing stones in that glass house.

  • WVMikeP

    I’m only addressing suicides, nothing else. Working conditions is a separate discussion. Of course, anonymity on the Internet discourages reading other peoples’ comments in context before “bravely” lashing out.

  • Guest

    Uh, I thought the article said these people were working for Foxconn, in China. Apple and others may be footing the bill, but China is responsible for the lousy working conditions, not corporate America. Your outrage is legit but very misplaced. But it’s become very PC these days to always pretend it’s America that’s at fault for anything wrong in the world.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Yep to a certain extent you’re right it’s China which is run by a communist govt that’s responsible for these people. I guess the fact that all that foreign investment from American/European companies has nothing to do with the fact they’ve been able to remain in power for so long. I guess the fact that all these mega corps who knowingly do business inside a country known for human rights violations doesn’t play into the equation either. Stop and give it some thought man its all connected. Apple, Acer, Sony they’re all guilty of bankrolling ruffians and taking potential money out their own countries for the sake of shoving more cash into their own wallets.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Lol boy are you a piece of work. I doubt you would be running your mouth off in public the way you are if you did people would consider you a imbecile. As for your working conditions comment those people committed suicide due to their working conditions. They didn’t jump off a roof/building/ out a window because they had broken up with their spouse they jumped because they hated where they worked and were depressed at the fact they were stuck there. So therefore working conditions has everything to do with those suicides. Nice try but you fail I suggest you email old Jobsy and maybe he can provide you another lame excuse that Apple fanboys can use to parrot across the net.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    I hold lots of sympathy for the citizens of Cleveland. The fact they have to put up with a jerk like you must be incredibly trying.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Do you even know what the hell your talking about? I suggest you either grow a brain or shut up. You don’t like the fact Apple is just another mindless mega corp covered in shit its your problem not anyone else. The facts have been exposed and the truth whether you like it or not is known. Apple is guilty of doing business with a company that runs sweatshops you don’t like that fact that’s to bad. I hope your stupid iPhone blows up in your face.

  • Truthhz

    Anybody can hide behind statistics. Suicide rates for unemployed people are much higher than employed people. So put your stats in “context”. Apple and other companies can dictate improvements at Foxconn. Apple made $6 billion in *profits* last quarter. Money is only thing Foxconn understands.

  • Xtina72

    As I lay here typing on my Ipad, looking across the room at my MAC computer, watching Apple TV and waiting for my iphone to ring…I feel like crap. I work hard for everything I have but not as hard as the people who made WHAT I have. ?

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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