Blood iPhones: Despite Wage Hike, Another FoxConn Employee Commits Suicide

Americans love Apple products—I am typing this on a MacBook now—but beyond the price-gouging and the cool-branding, like most mass-market consumer goods it's impossible to reconcile the manufacturing conditions with our privilege. Case in point: the working conditions at FoxConn, the Chinese factory responsible for making iPhones, iPads, Dell and Hewlett-Packard computers, among other electronics, is so oppressive that its employees keep killing  themselves. Yahoo:

At least a dozen Foxconn employees have jumped to their deaths or tried to do so since 2010, casting spotlight on the world's largest contract maker of electronics. The Taiwan-based companyhas been besieged with reports of poor working and living conditions for its workers at factories and dorms. The company installed nets in 2010 to prevent such deaths after the spate of suicides.

A public security bureau in Chengdu city announced the death Wednesday on the Sina Weibomicroblogging site. The post identifies the employee only by the surname Xie and says the cause remains under investigation.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the man was 23.

Because of protests this year, FoxConn has sought to improve some working conditions, like raising wages. But clearly, 18-25 percent is small compensation when your whole job is based on becoming a militarized robot, churning out luxury goods for those of us who are better-off. Read much more on FoxConn at AlterNet here.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at June 14, 2012, 6:44am

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