Despite large pay rises and improved mental health support services, another worker at Foxconn, the technology giant in Shenzhen that has been associated with a string of worker suicides, plunged to his death early yesterday morning.
The body of a 23-year-old male employee was found outside a dormitory at the company’s Guanglan complex. He had worked for the company for eight months, Foxconn said in a statement.
The police are carrying out an investigation into this matter and Foxconn is co-operating fully with that process, it said.
We have expressed our condolences to the family of the deceased employee and we are providing assistance to them at this very difficult time.
The tragedy happened two days after a senior official of the All China Federation of Trade Unions criticised the company for having serious flaws in its management and violating labour laws. Guo Jun, head of the federation’s management division, told a forum the problem was not about pay or working hours, but Foxconn’s management style.
He said he could not imagine the state of mind of workers after the pressure of working more than 100 hours a week.
The company – which supplies Sony, Apple and Nokia with information technology components – came under the spotlight this summer after at least 13 suicide attempts at its factories by young workers from across the mainland.
Labour rights activists have likened Foxconn’s factories to labour camps that neglect workers’ benefits and mental health. They said Foxconn staff had to work long hours under tough conditions with very few holidays to earn a meagre living.
Following the spate of suicides, Foxconn raised wages by nearly 70 per cent at its mainland plants, which include some 400,000 assembly line workers in Shenzhen.
But a recent 83-page report based on interviews with more than 1,800 workers from 12 Foxconn-owned factories in nine mainland cities, found fresh evidence that the Taiwanese giant forces assembly line staff to work double or triple the legal limit on overtime.
It describes a strict management style, extensive employment of teenage students, and failure to report a considerable number of industrial injuries, which resulted in workers being unable to receive statutory compensation.