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FoxConn Workers Threaten With Mass Suicide If Working Conditions Aren't Fixed

Tyler Durden's picture


FoxConn, which at last count had well over 1 million workers and rising, appears to have had enough of being the global electronic gadget sweatshop, and as the Telegraph reports, saw its workers threaten with mass suicides unless working conditions are not improved. "Around 150 Chinese workers at Foxconn, the world's largest electronics manufacturer, threatened to commit suicide by leaping from their factory roof in protest at their working conditions. The workers were eventually coaxed down after two days on top of their three-floor plant in Wuhan by Foxconn managers and local Chinese Communist party officials." Does this mean that in the latest Apple prospectus there will be a Risk Factor which says: "Our profit margins may be severely impaired if our contracted work force decides to proceed with mass self-induced genocide." We will find out, but if anyone needed a loud and clear warning that the record profitability of high margin electronics producers is about to go down, this is it.

Needless to say, this is not the first time FoxConn has had close encounters of the suicide kind:

Foxconn, which manufactures gadgets for the likes of Apple, Sony, Nintendo and HP, among many others, has had a grim history of suicides at its factories. A suicide cluster in 2010 saw 18 workers throw themselves from the tops of the company's buildings, with 14 deaths.


In the aftermath of the suicides, Foxconn installed safety nets in some of its factories and hired counsellors to help its workers.


The latest protest began on January 2 after managers decided to move around 600 workers to a new production line, making computer cases for Acer, a Taiwanese computer company.


"We were put to work without any training, and paid piecemeal," said one of the protesting workers, who asked not to be named. "The assembly line ran very fast and after just one morning we all had blisters and the skin on our hand was black. The factory was also really choked with dust and no one could bear it," he said.

What next? Each iPad coming with a disclaimer: "No Chinese workers committed suicide in the creation of this product"?

Several reports from inside Foxconn factories have suggested that while the company is more advanced than many of its competitors, it is run in a "military" fashion that many workers cannot cope with. At Foxconn's flagship plant in Longhua, five per cent of its workers, or 24,000 people, quit every month.


"Because we could not cope, we went on strike," said the worker. "It was not about the money but because we felt we had no options. At first, the managers said anyone who wanted to quit could have one month's pay as compensation, but then they withdrew that offer. So we went to the roof and threatened a mass suicide".

China has "dealt" with the issue:

A spokesman for Foxconn confirmed the protest, and said that the incident was "successfully and peacefully resolved after discussions between the workers, local Foxconn officials and representatives from the local government".


He added that 45 Foxconn employees had chosen to resign and the remainder had returned to work. "The welfare of our employees is our top priority and we are committed to ensuring that all employees are treated fairly," he said.

So all is well - please resume your sweatshop-facilitated iTunes enjoyment.

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Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:07 | 2054343 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:10 | 2054361 clones2
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Occupy Rooftop

These Chinese are always so inventive...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:16 | 2054396 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

This makes Occupy look like a kindergarten recess.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:19 | 2054411 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

This is sad.  I bet they would have been much happier just farming down by the delta and living an agrarian lifestyle.

Employment in the Chinese War machine cant be fun.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:29 | 2054462 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Yeah but just think what it'll do for unemployment...

If this happened in the US, the DOW would hit 25,000 just like Robo says, no sweat...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:51 | 2054573 eureka
eureka's picture

Apple's Production Cost for 1 Ipad:  $20

Apple's Taxes paid to US IRS:  max 2% of gross revenue

Apple's Cash Holdings:  $82+ BILLION

Winners:  Apple, Apple share holders/speculators

Losers:  US IRS/i.e. US/The People, US consumers, US tax payers and chiefly FOXCONN WORKER-SLAVES.

Love and treasure all the I-stuff, because it is paid with blood, sweat, tears, death and morally speaking, fraud.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:09 | 2054693 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

China's status as advanced consumer electronics maker for the world plagued by labor issues.

Amerika's status as nutrient dense Twinkie maker, spong cake filled with a creamy foam (that can be used as insulation & also as a fire retardant) center, plagued by financial and economic issues (many of which where Bernank-induced):

Twinkies maker Hostess seeks bankruptcy protection

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:30 | 2054786 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Will someone PLEASE think of the Twinkies?!  :-)

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:51 | 2054874 brew
brew's picture

and the ho ho's dude...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:59 | 2054893 imaginalis
imaginalis's picture

I thought they worked at the Xbox plant for Microsoft?

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 13:35 | 2055008 trav7777
trav7777's picture

China is the happy joyjoy future for all of us who are not nobility!  I can't wait.

The marvelous thing is the stupid, dipshitty "causes" of all the iLemmings, all their "sustainable" bullshit while they chatter away on sweatshop devices and post their trifling lives on the interwebz

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 13:49 | 2055066 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Teenagers (and alleged adults) everywhere resent that you are at least implying that few people (or none) really care about their every-5-minute-updates as to their geolocation & activities via Twitter:



8:05am:      I'm @ the Starbux on 31st & Main



8:13am:      I ordered a peppermint mocha fracha latte Vende Grande



8:25am:     I sharted a little

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:07 | 2055145 trav7777
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no...people DO care.  Or they pretend to care and ostracize those who admit they don't care.

You're an OUTCAST if you don't go along with the "conventional wisdom" and "consensus opinion."  That means THOU SHALT love "social media" or "iShit" or ANY trend that the madison avenue semites shove down your throat using their cousin Bernays' manual on how to steer zeitgeist.

Don't you know you're not COOL and HIP and PLUGGED IN if you don't tweeter some banal shit every 6 minutes?

Hell, teen girls are actually killing themselves over this shit.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 13:13 | 2054930 karzai_luver
karzai_luver's picture

So when/if 150 or so Federal Reserve and/or JPM "associates" take to the roof will they be coaxed down or "removed".



Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:14 | 2054718 JimBobOMG
JimBobOMG's picture

We Americans help make it happen! We always know how to pick the right leaders for the job...and this is NOT a race thing...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 13:43 | 2055048 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

20 dollars to make an ipad is pure made up fiction.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 14:22 | 2055214 smiler03
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I believe the $20 is the manufacturing cost, part of which will be the pay for the workers.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:10 | 2055430 AGuy
AGuy's picture

If assembly was done in the US, It extremely likely the assembly plant would be automated. Right now Chinese labor costs are below US assembly automation. I suspect the if the labor costs rise, production will shift to automated assemble. It would not suprise me that Apple or FoxConn already has plans for automation in the next year or two. In the end the IRS and US Manufacturing workers would still lose.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:34 | 2054480 xela2200
xela2200's picture

I bet they will be alot happier farming but poorer. Many do the sacrifice for their families. I am sure many of us can relate. Right now, it would be so nice to leave all this bs behind and turn into a beach bumb in Costa Rica.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:35 | 2054501 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Seems to me there are a few people in the Mariner Eccles building already working on that for you...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:22 | 2054439 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

That's not saying much.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:36 | 2054468 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

I could have writ, "A walk in the park", but I thought that was redundant.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:30 | 2054475 X. Kurt OSis
X. Kurt OSis's picture

I was thinking the same thing.  We have as many reasons to be pissed, but our lame, fat, stupid population just flips the channel over to Fox Sports and checks their fantasy football scores on the ipads they can't afford.  Much has to change from the ground up around here.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:56 | 2054889 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Jump you fuckers!

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 17:05 | 2056008 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

Lighten up Francis.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 21:07 | 2056842 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

Were this to happen in AmeriKa, the protestors would be maced/pepper spayed, kicked and drug off to jail by Homeland Security funded Goon Squads decked out to the 9's in the latest Blackwater-approved Riot Gear, interrogated about their possible terrorist affiliations and ties, then sent (courtesy of Sen Levin, McCain, Graham) on an all expense paid vacation to some unnamed internment facility until the end of the War on Terror (whatever that is). 

Back to work you Debt Slaves!!


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:18 | 2054406 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Forgive me the fantasy; In the US we see bank CEO's, Congress Critters, and those most responsible for our financial mess, climb to the top of their glass spires and threaten to throw themselves off unless the taxpayers rally to their cause to increase their salaries and the bailouts. (cue crickets)  The sounds of their carcasses hitting the ground is like a 3rd grade class dancing on a room full of bubble wrap...and life is good again...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:20 | 2054424 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Poignant, visceral. Dug it.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:33 | 2054487 X. Kurt OSis
X. Kurt OSis's picture

Happened in 1929.  Fucking bailouts.  It could have been raining douchebags all over Manhattan!

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 17:55 | 2056199 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

It NEEDS to rain douchbags in Manhattan, and neighbors giving their pinstripe fag neighbors reconstructive surgery and a "get the fuck out of the neighborhood" kick in the pants. 

Sadly, there are none in the 1% with any self-respected decency as they too worship at the altar of greed and money (called fuck your neighbor).

They too shall pass, meaningless wastes of unenlightened with a bankroll and that is all.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 20:30 | 2056735 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

unfortunately i did not see RoRo&Co jumping, aka Rockefeller & Rothschild

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:33 | 2054491 funthea
Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:21 | 2054434 ihedgemyhedges
ihedgemyhedges's picture

You think it's bad now, just wait until the iPhone 5 starts production.....................the masses say "wes gotz to haz the newest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  What's the Intrade over/under on jumps once 5 kicks in gear???

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:23 | 2054443 brew
brew's picture

might as well, jump...


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:31 | 2054479 MsCreant
Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:50 | 2055626 baby_BLYTHE
Wed, 01/11/2012 - 19:36 | 2056592 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Lame, I agree. 

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:56 | 2054632 HedgeAccordingly
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Wed, 01/11/2012 - 13:03 | 2054903 francis_sawyer
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Oddly enough... A new movie "MAN ON A LEDGE" opens in a few weeks...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:08 | 2054347 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Man I need to learn something from these guys. Maybe an exchange program? 

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:38 | 2054523 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

It would need to be a very short program it seems...

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:08 | 2054348 YesWeKahn
YesWeKahn's picture


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:19 | 2054414 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

Need a "Jump You Fuckers" song remix.


I did find a "foxconn suicide song". No idea what it says. Anybody here translate?


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:09 | 2054350 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Selfish workers..

Not even a thought about the millions of iPod, and iPhone users whose lives they would wreck.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:55 | 2054626 LaLiLuLeLo
LaLiLuLeLo's picture

Is this really what our world has come to? clinging desperately to an existence of one tech toy to another at the expense of someone else. human beings need to take a step back and say "WTF are we doing here?"

Blinders on bitchez

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 12:51 | 2054873 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

Unfortunately consciousness is heading, and is being pushed, in the opposite direction. We can only take responsibility for our own sovereign emotional territory right now, with the hope of bringing change one by one. Stick with it.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 13:37 | 2055018 trav7777
trav7777's picture

even ZH "freethinkers" had an orgy of mourning for Dear Leader Jobs

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 15:26 | 2055508 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

I didn't.

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 17:08 | 2056027 Dave Thomas
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Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!