Nearly a year ago we featured a post here on a New York Times report about the high rate of suicides at Foxconn, a producer of electronic components in China. It noted that the company planned to take some unusual steps to address its problems, including bringing in 2,000 singers, dancers and gym trainers to improve workplace life, and constructing fences to prevent workers from jumping to their deaths.
So where do things stand today? Well, a report released earlier today suggests that, at least at two of the Foxconn plants, things aren’t a whole lot better (though the study does mention a couple positives).
Researchers from Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) in Hong Kong visited two Foxconn production facilities in Chengdu and Chongqing in Western China, where workers manufacture the Apple iPad 2 and HP laptops, and report finding the “predicaments of workers remain.” The report alleges “labour rights abuses such as miscalculation of wages, excessive and forced overtime, threat of occupational diseases … and use of student labour.”
Meanwhile, a recent story in the U.K’s Daily Mirror says the company requires employees to sign an “anti-suicide pledge.” The piece reports that at least 14 workers at Foxconn factories in China have killed themselves in the last 16 months as a result of working conditions.
In February, Apple released a report on its efforts to drive the “highest standards of social responsibility throughout its supply base.” If we’re to believe the findings of the SACOM report, it would appear that a bit more work needs to be done at the two aforementioned plants.