Foxconn is notorious for its tough working conditions and labor practices, but the company has started relaxing on some of its strict factory rules after two recent suicides occurred at its Zhengzhou factory last month.
Starting now, Foxconn has decided it will stop forcing workers from fraternizing with one another during work hours. Foxconn’s factories have used a “mute mode” policy with workers that prohibits any conversation that is not relevant to their jobs while in the workshop, but the iPhone-maker has decided it’s probably good for workers’ health to be able to talk to each other.
Apple and Foxconn’s jumper problem might not be a thing of the past after all, as reports over the weekend broke that two workers have jumped from the roof of Foxconn’s Shenzhen factory on Friday in reaction to job cuts, lowered wages and the end of free amenities at the world’s largest gadget manufacturer.
What’s happening is a little bit confusing, and mostly comes from numerous microblog reports, but Kotaku says:
On the Friday morning the 29, photos and posts appeared on China’s twitter like microblogging service, Sina Weibo, which two Foxconn employees had jumped off a building due to concerns over job security. Most reports say that three workers climbed up to the roof of the G14 building at Foxconn Shenzhen. One cited source said that the workers climbed up because they were worried about their jobs. Foxconn has seen a decline in orders since the first few months of this year. Due to the decline the company has started using various methods to get rid of workers…
Recent reports about Foxconn say that the company has started to lower employee wages. It is also reported that Foxconn has taken away and started charging employees for once free services.
It’s also worth nothing that while local reports claim that workers are being fired and amenities cut at Foxconn, that is hard to reconcile with Foxconn’s record profits last quarter. On the other hand, recent reports have suggested that February was a very weak month for all of Apple’s suppliers.
Foxconn suicide jumpers is an old problem for the manufacturing giant, but one that everyone had believed had been licked. What’s so strange about this report is that old jumps were allegedly prompted by inhumane work conditions. Now, though, Apple has 99% compliance in enforcing a 60 hour work week across all of its manufacturing partners. It seems like Foxconn’s workers are now jumping because there’s not enough work.
Foxconn has confirmed that a 23-year-old worker committed suicide this week by jumping from his apartment in the southwestern city of Chengdu. The worker only began his employment with Foxconn last month. Police are investigating the death.
Wow! 2011 has been one of the most interesting years in recent memory for Apple Inc. Of course the death of Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, stands out as one of the most important events of the year for Apple, but there have been a load of other stories too that have made 2011 a very memorable year for the fruit company. From one controversy to the next, to record-breaking earnings, and new products, Apple has plowed through 2011 with a steady determination to be the best technology company on the planet. Only one device underwent a redesign (the iPad), while other form factors stayed the same. Instead of focusing on making pivotal leaps forward with hardware, Apple’s main focus of 2011 was to fortify their strong foundation in the software game.
Here’s Cult of Mac’s look back on the Apple in the year 2011.
A Pegatron plant in Shanghai, China, where rear panels for Apple’s iPad will be manufactured, suffered an explosion over the weekend which hospitalized 23 workers and injured a further 38. Though the explosion did not cause a fire, according to a Reuters report, the Pegatron factory reports there is “some damage” to machinery.