Tuesday June 01 09:11 pm
Iphone factory struggles with suicides 2
Young workers move quickly from modern, clean dormitories to huge mess halls and then to their jobs on the assembly lines, making everything from Apple's iPad and iPhone, to Dell computers, and products for Hewlett Packard and Sony. More than 300,000 people sleep, eat and work here. There are three hospitals, a fire station, supermarkets and restaurants all crammed on less than a square mile (2.3 square kilometers.) But something here is not right -- an alarming number of workers have taken their lives or attempted suicide. So far this year, 10 people have committed suicide, while three others have tried, according to Foxconn, a Taiwanese firm and local authorities, and no one knows why. "We're asking ourselves the same question," said company spokesman, Liu Kun. "Foxconn has never seen anything like this before in the past 20 years of operating on the mainland. We've checked the work records and couldn't find any direct link between the working conditions and the suicides." While the number of suicides is below China's average rate of 14 per 100,000, according to the World Health Organization, it is enough to worry some of Foxconn's customers. Apple, Dell, Hewlett Packard and Sony have all ordered their own investigations.