You are NOT allowed to commit suicide: Workers in Chinese iPad factories forced to sign pledges

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You are NOT allowed to commit suicide: Workers in Chinese iPad factories forced to sign pledges

I found this interesting. It is too bad they will not farm out some of those jobs to the U.S.....

You are NOT allowed to commit suicide: Workers in Chinese iPad factories forced to sign pledges

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 3:37 PM on 1st May 2011

Factories making sought-after Apple iPads and iPhones in China are forcing staff to sign pledges not to commit suicide, an investigation has revealed.

At least 14 workers at Foxconn factories in China have killed themselves in the last 16 months as a result of horrendous working conditions.

Many more are believed to have either survived attempts or been stopped before trying at the Apple supplier's plants in Chengdu or Shenzen.

Appalling conditions: An investigation by two NGOs has found new workers at Foxconn factories in China are made to sign a 'no suicide' pledge

After a spate of suicides last year, managers at the factories ordered new staff to sign pledges that they would not attempt to kill themselves, according to researchers.

And they were made to promise that if they did, their families would only seek the legal minimum in damages.

An investigation of the 500,000 workers by the Centre for Research on Multinational Companies and Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (Sacom) found appalling conditions in the factories.

They claimed that:

  • Excessive overtime was rife, despite a legal limit of 36 hours a month. One payslip showed a worker did 98 hours of overtime in one month, the Observer reported.
  • During peak periods of demand for the iPad, workers were made to take only one day off in 13.
  • Badly performing workers were humiliated in front of colleagues.
  • Workers are banned from talking and are made to stand up for their 12-hour shifts.

Grim: Netting has been put up outside worker dormitories buildings in Chengdu and Shenzhen after a spate of suicides last year

The 'anti-suicide pledge' was brought in after sociologists wrote an open letter to the media calling for an end to restrictive working practices.

But the investigation revealed many of the workers still lived in dismal conditions, with some only going home to see family once a year.

One worker told the newspaper: 'Sometimes my roommates cry when they arrive in the dormitory after a long day.'

She said they were made to work illegally long hours for a basic daily wage, as little as PS5.20, and that workers were housed in dormitories of up to 24 people a room.

In Chengdu, working between 60 and 80 hours overtime a month was normal, with many breaching Apple's own code of conduct with the length of their shifts.

And the investigation found that employees claimed they were not allowed to speak to each other.

Production line: The investigation found illegal amounts of overtime was rife and workers claimed they were not allowed to talk during shifts

Must have: High demand for iPods and iPads in the west has fuelled the tough working conditions for part suppliers in China

Foxconn admits that it breaks overtime laws, but claims all the overtime is voluntary.

Some officials within the company even accused workers of committing suicide to secure large compensation payments for their families.

Anti-suicide nets were put up around the dormitory buildings on the advice of psychologists.

Foxconn said it had faced 'some very challenging months for everyone associated with the Foxconn family and the loss of a number of colleagues to tragic suicides'.

Spokesman Louis Woo, responding to allegations that staff were humiliated, said: '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.

'But we are working to change it.'

He added that employees were 'encouraged not to engage in conversations that may distract them from the attention needed to ensure accuracy and their own safety'.

Sacom said the company initially responded to the spate of suicides by bringing in monks to exorcise evil spirits.

Leontien Aarnoudse, a Sacom official, told The People: 'They work excessive overtime for a salary they can hardly live on and are inhumanely treated.

'Conditions are harsh and they don't have a social life. Their life is just working in a factory and that is it.'

Demand for iPads and iPhones has soared, resulting in tough targets for workers in Apple factories.

Apple's supplier code of conduct demands that employees are treated with respect and dignity, but its own audit reports suggest suppliers in China may not meet up to these standards.

The global high-tech product manufacturer made profits of $6billion ni the first quarter of 2011.

Liz Woolley

hirshthg's picture
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in the usa they can't make

in the usa they can't make people work for that amount of money

(not on the mass scale anyway)

leveling in steps, serenity, sponcys, sponsors, exercise, and sleep, (sanity has been downsized) sober from all electronic games since 11/19/2010

LaurelS9's picture
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Dunno.  I have a friend who

Dunno. I have a friend who works as a lab tech for Southern Petroleum. He is paid less than 1/3 of what a mudlogger offshire makes and is forced to do mudlogging analysis on samples brought in from off shore. He is forced to work 7 days a week and 12 hours a day at times. He is given health insurance, finally, after many years, but it only pays for inhospital acute preventive care whatsoever and the deductible is huge...the cost of the insurance makes it unaffordable for what he makes.

Because of his age, he has little chance to go elsewhere to work, and so is very stuck and very unhappy, but has no choice if he wants to retire with enough to eat on. No dental, so it's a matter of time before he is toothless. This year he has to cough up big bucks for his yearly exam, colonoscopy...with cancer epidemic here, he must get this done...anyway, he is one of my oldest and dearest friends so this is very sad and hits too close to home.

I say it's the same senario, only in good ole USA.

the_real_me's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
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That is truly horrible.

That is truly horrible.

The question is....will you be able/courageous/adult enough to sacrifice that which merely pleases you...for that which will truly fulfill you? That is the question of personal growth.
~~~wow-free since 8/22/09

BigH501's picture
Last seen: 12 years 8 months ago
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Joined: 12/15/2006 - 10:31am
  It is horrible, but am I

It is horrible, but am I missing something ? What does it have to do with gaming ?

" ... don't question it just go" "... where the body goes the mind will follow"
Borrowed from "Desire to Stop"

LaurelS9's picture
Last seen: 9 years 1 month ago
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Not much except the gaming

Not much except the gaming industry does some of this kind of human rights violations, and we who buy the games are supporting it...

Thoughts on morality.

Luv, Laurel

Last seen: 13 years 2 months ago
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Joined: 05/25/2011 - 8:20am
After reading this, I can't

After reading this, I can't say that my working conditions in factories in Canada between highschool and post-secondary were any different.

The overtime was the same... the wages were marginally better, but accommodation was not provided... even if it was 24 people to a large room.

One day off in 13? I think most people have experienced that several times in their working life - if not frequently.

I know many people who work more overtime than they probably should just to provide for their family. Why does it only seem to be an issue for people in an eastern country who work for Apple?

I hope I don't sound too insensitive. Perhaps I'm missing something.

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