Foxconn worker dies in China; 10th in a year
A Chinese employee of Foxconn Technology Group fell from a building and died Tuesday, state-run media said, in the 10th such death this year at the world’s largest contract maker of electronics, such as the iPod, Dell computers and Nokia phones.
Details were sketchy about the latest death, reported by the official Xinhua News Agency, which didn’t cite its sources. Foxconn and police would not immediately confirm the fatality, and it was unknown whether it was a suicide.
The reported death is the ninth at Foxconn’s massive plant in the southern city of Shenzhen, which employs about 300,000 people. Another suicide occurred at a smaller plant in northern Hebei province in January.
Labor activists say the string of suicides back up their long-standing allegations that workers toil in terrible conditions at Foxconn. They claim shifts are long, the assembly line moves too fast and managers enforce military-style discipline on the workforce.
But Foxconn has insisted that workers are treated well and are protected by social responsibility programs that ensure their welfare. The Shenzhen factory is perennially a popular place to work, with hordes of applicants lining up for jobs during the hiring season.
On Monday, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou told reporters, “We are certainly not running a sweatshop. We are confident we’ll be able to stabilize the situation soon.”
Tuesday’s reported death came just three days after a 21-year-old man who worked in the logistics department jumped from a four-story building shortly after finishing the night shift Friday. His motivations were still not known.
The highest-profile Foxconn death happened last July when Sun Danyong, 25, jumped to his death after being interrogated over a missing iPhone prototype.
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