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One Bad Apple...

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Jon Wurm

One Bad Apple...

There has been a string of unusual deaths over the past year at a factory in Taiwan owned by Foxconn, a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision, the worlds' largest manufacturer of consumer electronics and has over 800,000 employees. Eleven of Foxconn's employees have tried to commit suicide and two of them have survived. This all started last year after an employee in charge of shipping for Apple's then iPhone prototype killed himself after one went missing. A sixteen year old employee also died of cardiac arrest while most of the other employees jumped off the building. Foxconn has acknowledged there is a problem and has taken steps to help improve their emotional and mental well being by hiring consolers and Buddhist Monks as well as creating an incentive program for employees to watch out for each other. Apple looked into accusations of bad employment practices and discovered that some employees were overworked during peak hours and not taking any days off. Otherwise the complaints were mostly unfounded.

I'm really not surprised that Apple can't make the connection between bad employment practices and death being a bad thing. The factory in question, where most of the deaths occurred, solely produces iPads and iPhones so they wouldn't want to mess with supply or profit margins in the interests of being humane. We've seen the way Apple treats their employees here and the only reason conditions are better is because they are required to be by law.

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