The Math Behind The Foxconn Suicides

Illustration for article titled The Math Behind The Foxconn Suicides

This goes some way to explaining why employees at Foxconn may be killing themselves. According to The Telegraph, Foxconn pays 110,000 Yuan ($16,100) to the family of each person who dies. That's ten years' salary, on average.

Basic monthly wages start at 900 Yuan a month ($130), so the 110,000 Yuan ($16,000) pay-out to the deceased's families is almost worth ending your life—if you're miserable anyway, and have a family to support. I'm not trying to justify it, but the news of the compensation being so large does mean Foxconn has an even bigger problem on its hands than once thought.

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CEO Guo Tai-ming apparently promised at the press conference yesterday that he would increase the basic wage by 20 per cent, attempting to give the employees greater motivation to work—and live.

Despite more suicides being chalked up every week, Foxconn's suicide rate still remains lower than the national average for China. Regardless of that, you can't ignore the stories of guards beating workers; stories of the miserable working conditions, nor the undercover photos of life inside the factories. [The Telegraph]

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DISCUSSION

A $16,100 payout is equivalent to ten years salary? According to this site [www.nationmaster.com] the average yearly salary in China is closer to $865 not the $161 Foxconn is paying. They might want to try to increase salaries more than 20%.

Edit: Actually, that site shows income as a portion of GDP. I'm not sure that is equivalent to an average salary or not, so reader beware.