Workers Assembling Apple Products Urged to Sign Anti Suicide Pledge

May 1st, 2011

So Foxconn’s suicide prevention nets are still up?

Via: Guardian:

An investigation into the conditions of Chinese workers has revealed the shocking human cost of producing the must-have Apple iPhones and iPads that are now ubiquitous in the west.

The research, carried out by two NGOs, has revealed disturbing allegations of excessive working hours and draconian workplace rules at two major plants in southern China. It has also uncovered an “anti-suicide” pledge that workers at the two plants have been urged to sign, after a series of employee deaths last year.

The investigation gives a detailed picture of life for the 500,000 workers at the Shenzhen and Chengdu factories owned by Foxconn, which produces millions of Apple products each year. The report accuses Foxconn of treating workers “inhumanely, like machines”.

Among the allegations made by workers interviewed by the NGOs – the Centre for Research on Multinational Companies and Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (Sacom) – are claims that:

* Excessive overtime is routine, despite a legal limit of 36 hours a month. One payslip, seen by the Observer, indicated that the worker had performed 98 hours of overtime in a month.

* Workers attempting to meet the huge demand for the first iPad were sometimes pressured to take only one day off in 13.

* In some factories badly performing workers are required to be publicly humiliated in front of colleagues.

* Crowded workers’ dormitories can sleep up to 24 and are subject to strict rules. One worker told the NGO investigators that he was forced to sign a “confession letter” after illicitly using a hairdryer. In the letter he wrote: “It is my fault. I will never blow my hair inside my room. I have done something wrong. I will never do it again.”

* In the wake of a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories last summer, workers were asked to sign a statement promising not to kill themselves and pledging to “treasure their lives”.

One Response to “Workers Assembling Apple Products Urged to Sign Anti Suicide Pledge”

  1. steve holmes Says:

    LMAO!!!! You have got to be shitting me!

    Apparently these NGO’s have never been inside of an aerospace factory in the USA like I have since 1977. On my last 2 1/2 year contract working for a major airframe builder at a new plant in South Carolina:

    * 70 to 80 hour work weeks were expected. In my group, 84 hours per week was typical (12 hours per day and 7 days per week).

    * One day off in 13 would get us an ass chewing and subtle threats of dismissal. One day off a month was typical- and we were advised to take our laptops home and put in a few hours if at all possible on that one day off in a month. Some guys worked 7 days a week for 6 months then took a week off.

    * Humiliation in front of colleagues for mistakes? When did that hit the “thou shalt not” list? LOL!!! That is hilarious!

    * Crowded dorms? Poor babies! At least they have dorms. We all had to pay for our own hotels, apartments, condos and houses that we were all too tired to clean and enjoy. Using a hair dryer? Most of us barely had time to sleep, and showering usually meant being late for work. Running out of clean socks and skivvies meant buying new ones because there was no time for laundry duty for many of the workers who’s wives weren’t nearby.

    * Everyone who works 80 hours a week is already committing suicide, and if anyone told us to “treasure our lives” we would take a day off from work and that would piss management off.

    And despite that much overtime, that program is now 3 years behind schedule to deliver it’s first aircraft to a customer- and that will continue to be the case for at least another 6 months.

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