Foxconn acknowledges deaths of two workers from Apple-focused Zhengzhou plant [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2016
On Monday Apple's primary manufacturing partner, Foxconn, disclosed the deaths of two workers from its Apple-oriented Zhengzhou factory, though there don't appear to be any immediate links to conditions at the plant. [Updated]




The deaths took place last week, Reuters reported. A woman is said to have died in a train accident on her way to work, while a man's body was found outside a building in Zhengzhou. Foxconn said it's cooperating with authorities investigating the incidents.

While Foxconn's workforce can balloon to as much as 1.3 million during peak production times -- now likely being one of them, given the anticipated launch of Apple's"iPhone 7" -- such deaths are still rare and can raise concerns given Foxconn's history of worker suicides.

Between 2010 and 2011 a rash of suicides drew attention to poor labor conditions at the manufacturer, particularly low wages, extreme hours, and shoddy safety. Under scrutiny from activists and media, and accompanying pressure from the likes of Apple, conditions have improved somewhat.

Last year the death of another Foxconn Zhengzhou worker was described as a suicide by a labor rights group.

Update: The Wall Street Journal reports that the man's death was a suicide, in which the iPhone assembly worker climbed to the top floor of a production building after his shift and jumped. The woman was hit by a train after climbing a fence and trying to cross the tracks, since pedestrian underpasses were flooded by rain, the paper said.

Apple has issued a formal statement. "We constantly monitor working conditions to ensure that they meet our strict standards, and we will investigate the incidents in Zhengzhou," it said.

"Facilities in Zhengzhou and throughout our supply chain offer employee assistance programs, designed in conjunction with Apple and available to every worker, to provide access to social services and counselors whenever needed."

The Journal suggested that pay has actually worsened in recent years. Without overtime assembly workers are said to earn about 1,400 yuan ($211) per month after deductions for things like food and housing. This can potentially double with overtime in effect, but the amount is still said to be less than the 5,000 yuan or more people could earn a few years ago.

Foxconn has also reportedly instituted a policy in which only people who can recruit another worker are eligible for overtime, leaving everyone else on subsistence-level income. More desperate workers have allegedly paid strangers to take temporary jobs in order to qualify.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,710member
    though there don’t appear to be any immediate links to conditions at the plant."

    The act of publishing this article provides an “immediate link.” Get a clue AI, financial websites are already running with this and Apple as the target. Immediate links my rear end. Classic guilt by association headline.
    SpamSandwichRayz2016jony0Deelron
  • Reply 2 of 10
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,736member
    Now Apple is responsible for deaths at locations beyond factories they don't even own in the first place? What?
    lkruppjony0Deelrontallest skil
  • Reply 3 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,428member
    What the f**k does this crap have to with Apple AI?  Are you going to now publish when a Foxconn employee farts downwind outside the family home?

    rap like this is why all the long-time thread contributors are giving up on AI and disappearing.

    might as well call AI a subsidiary of MacRumors.
    edited August 2016 lkruppDeelrontallest skil
  • Reply 4 of 10
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,766member
    Two people die in automobile accident on California freeway!

    Both victims had iPhones in their pockets.

    Authorities investigating possible Apple involvement. /s
    jony0Deelrontallest skil
  • Reply 5 of 10
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,107member
    My friend's uncle died today. His wife's sister's great aunt had a classmate that was the daughter of a guy who had an acquaintance who attended an Apple keynote once. I blame Apple, the fucking murderers. Just a heads-up for future stories: Foxconn workers are not immortal or invincible, they will all die someday through natural causes or otherwise, and in ways that have nothing to do with Apple, even though "Apple" will be in the headlines.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 6 of 10
    I hope this does not in any way affects the release date of the new iPhone.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    volcan said:
    Two people die in automobile accident on California freeway!

    Both victims had iPhones in their pockets.

    Authorities investigating possible Apple involvement. /s

    ... and are begging Apple to unlock the phones!!
  • Reply 8 of 10
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    volcan said:
    Authorities investigating possible Apple involvement. /s
    If Apple hadn’t popularized smartphones, people wouldn’t be killing themselves in distracted driving incidents.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,766member
    volcan said:
    Authorities investigating possible Apple involvement. /s
    If Apple hadn’t popularized smartphones, people wouldn’t be killing themselves in distracted driving incidents.
    Perhaps not as much, however even before iPhones came out, plenty of people were distracted by simply talking on their flip phone while driving. Contrary to what most people believe about themselves, humans are not very good at multi-tasking. "Hang up and drive" was a common saying even before smartphones.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Um Roger, you do realise that if Foxconn had the same suicide rate as the rest of China (22 per 100,000), then there would be 286 suicides every year amongst the 1.2 million workers at Foxconn's Shenzhen complex - that's almost 1 suicide per day.  By the way, the USA has an even higher rate of 30 suicides per 100K.
     
    Even at the height of Mike Daisy suicide hysteria, there were only 17 suicides at Foxconn over 5 YEARS!!!

    Why does a single suicide and an unfortunate rail crossing accident rate as news here for goodness sake?
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