A new government reports shows that suicide rates in the U.S. have soared since 1999, with the most dramatic increases occurring among young white females and Native Americans. So why are Americans suddenly killing themselves in droves? It’s a major public health issue with no easy explanations.
Gizmodo's Joel Johnson went to the Foxconn plant in China, home of 17 suicides, to find out just what the hell is going on over there. Turns out Foxconn is like a college campus and still one of the top places to work in the area. Read his whole report on Foxconn, China and our responsibility at Wired. [Wired]
Not only does Foxconn "categorically reject" last week's shocking survey of 1,736 employees who told of overtime, lack of promised payrises and even violence, but they believe that their 937,000 employees work in a "safe and positive" environment.
It comes as no surprise that someone would want to leak the independently-produced report on Foxconn's treatment of its workers, but the contents are bloody appalling. Apparently 1,736 workers were surveyed, with stories of overtime and even violence.
Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturing titan troubled by a spate of suicides at its Shenzhen factory-city, held a rally for its workers who were given t-shirts, pom-pons, and—inexplicably—Spider-Man costumes.
Despite installing safety nets around the building premises, a 22-year old female worker at Foxconn's Kunshan factory committed suicide early yesterday morning. She only joined Foxconn at the end of March, where she worked packaging plastics.
What to do when your factory's been plagued with unwanted attention after numerous employee suicides? Why, move up North, that's what. A notice on a government site in Hebi city, North China, suggests Foxconn's looking for 300,000 new workers.
Last we heard about Foxconn, they were considering closing down their Shenzhen factories, which have had bulk-attention festooned on them the past six months due to the spate of suicides. Now, we learn they're handing over control of dorms.
Aha, now this is all making much more sense. Foxconn raised wages by 30 per cent, and then a further 66 per cent on top of that—and now has scrapped the compensation for families of the deceased.
This is how Foxconn employees feel, according to a 21-year-old whom Bloomberg called Ah Wei because he preferred to remain anonymous. Ah Wei copes with these conditions for a monthly salary of 900 yuan ($132). [Bloomberg—Thanks, Alex!]
Another death at Foxconn's Shenzhen factory, only this time it wasn't a suicide attempt, according to reports. Instead, the 28-year-old man (who'd only married his wife, above, three months ago) died from exhaustion.
There's not been confirmation to Monday's report that Apple would be giving a percentage of their profits to Foxconn factory workers who produce their products, but Foxconn's doing their bit in offering financial reasons for its employees to stay alive.
Steve Jobs thinks that this Foxconn suicide thing is way overblown. But still, he's gonna fix it.
Well-respected Chinese site Zol, owned by CNET's parent company CBS Interactive, has published a report claiming that Apple will be providing financial subsidies to Foxconn's workers, helping boost their current monthly salary of roughly $130 each.
Contrary to a lot of reports, more than just Apple's products are made at Foxconn's Shenzhen factories. Nintendo, whose Wii and other products are made there, has announced it shall be investigating the working and living conditions of the factory workers in light of the suicides. [MarketWatch via Kotaku]