Foxconn Updates

Amazing.  Not even 24 hours after I posted some ramblings about Foxconn’s Shenzhen factory and the working conditions there, Foxconn caved in to the pressure and agreed to raise wages at the Plant of Death by 20%.  This announcement apparently came as a response to another suicide at the plant yesterday.

Despite the news, it wasn’t a day without some more controversy at Foxconn.  As reported by Bruce Blanch, a consultant at Foxconn;

Yesterday Foxconn sent a letter to be signed by all employees, removing liability to the company should an employee die. It immunised them against law suits. There was an outcry in the Chinese media and today Foxconn withdrew the letter.

As Blanch states later in his comments, there is some conjecture that some of the workers killed themselves in order to have sizable, lump-sum death benefits  sent home to their families.  This hasn’t been confirmed as the motive for any of the deaths, but it would appear that Foxconn was trying to protect itself from actions along those lines.  And although there’s really not much to laugh about when digesting a story like this, I couldn’t help crack a smile when I tried to picture this kind of “stress relief” in my office;

There’s a recreation centre, but the engineers I was training told me they had never been there. Then I saw on TV that there’s a stress room full of these dolls that look like Japanese warriors. You get a bat and you beat them. That’s how they are encouraged to relieve the stress.

~ by schlippo on May 28, 2010.

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