Foxconn faces probe after 10th worker suicide

Dylan Bushell-Embling
25 May 2010

Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant, which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple, is under investigation after the tenth employee suicide in six months last week.

The Taiwan-owned electronics firm faces a probe into working conditions from several Chinese government departments, China Dailyreports.

The latest death, on Friday, happened two days after an investigative team was dispatched to investigate the deaths.

The huge factory, at Longhua on the outskirts of Shenzhen, is believed to be the world’s largest, with 300,000 staff living and working in the company-operated city.

While statistically the suicide rate is not unusually high – China averages 15 suicides per 100,000 people – the firm registered only three suicides last year, said.

The firm said it was reviewing its worker conditions and care practices, with a spokesman telling that in more than 20 years “we've never had anything like this.”

It is giving psychological training to around 100 staff. They will return to the factory floor next week to observe workers, looking for early signs of instability. The factory has already set up a help hotline and a new counseling center, and offers recreational activities at the plant.

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