According to Reuters, Steve Jobs says the rash of suicides is “troubling”, but that the Foxconn factory “is not a sweatshop“.
This year, eleven Foxconn employees have fallen to their deaths at the company’s Shenzhen factory.
“It’s a difficult situation,” Jobs said about the suicides. “We’re trying to understand right now, before we go in and say we know the solution.”
It is important to note that the number of suicides at the Foxconn factory is below the national average. Suicides are typically higher in rural China, but factory workers tend to have a low suicide rate. Moreover, while suicides are more common among Chinese females, many male Foxconn factory workers have committed suicide.
It is also important to note that there are reports regarding the oppressive work environment at Foxconn. Not that hard to understand.
1. They work non-stop;
2. They have no free time;
3. Their wages are crap;
5. Up ’till now, they probably had no voice and no rights to complain about their situation, not only for their employers (who wouldn’t listen) but also for the government or the world;
6. Some of them don’t have any hope of ever getting off that situation which is worse than lots of jails out there (more close to a mix of jail and torture);
The Chinese government is getting involved to help prevent future suicides.
Foxconn manufactures the Apple iPod, iPhone and the iPad as well the Xbox 360, the PS3 and the Wii. Foxconn pays lots of money for the family of suicidal employees.