Another presumably young, healthy employee at Foxconn’s factory in Shenzen, China has died under mysterious circumstances. The reason for the 28-year-old engineer’s death still isn’t clear–but he did die at home shortly after working 34 hours straight at the factory.
Is Foxconn, the huge electronics company that manufactures for global brands such as HP, Dell, and Apple (yes, they make the iPad and iPhone) a towering fortress of secrecy where employees cower in fear, ten people to a dorm room, or a normal manufacturing outfit that has had a weird cluster of employee suicides recently?
Gizmodo reports, based on a story in the subscription-only El Norte, that workers in a Foxconn factory in Juarez, Mexico became enraged and set the building on fire. Supervisors had misled the workers into working unpaid overtime. A delightful follow-up to the Reuters report about a Foxconn security guard threatening a foreign reporter. [Gizmodo] (Thanks, GitEmSteveDave!)
You know that your iPhone was made in China, but do you really know where it came from? Reuters recently looked inside the mainland China factories of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn–manufacturer of many of Apple’s best-known devices, including the iPhone. Or just parts of them, since Apple is known for having different parts of a device made in by different companies entirely in order to protect proprietary information.
Foxconn was ill-pleased with the allegations of two Chinese journalists that they had set-up massive iPod sweatshops in Rural Red Country. How ill-pleased are they? As they previously warned, they are suing these guys into oblivion.
As you can easily imagine, breaking labor laws in China is a bit hard to do as an employer. However, Foxconn managed to do just that by forcing the workers in the Apple iPod factories to work up to 80 extra hours per month. Under local law, laborers can only be forced to work 36 extra hours.