Monday, August 9, 2010

I think I know why this is happening (raises hand)

(Safety nets set up to prevent people from killing themselves by jumping off the roof - sad right?)


Foxconn (a Chinese company), one of the largest (if not the largest) makers of electronic devices, has been criticized for a string of suicides at one of its plants. Another jumper last week brought the total to 14 this year.

Apprently the company has tried a number of things to solve the problem. From the article:

"Foxconn has taken several steps to try and put an end to the suicides. The company raised employee wages twice, brought in counselors, hired monks and exorcists, requested that staff sign no-suicide contracts and installed safety nets. According to the Telegraph, the latest pay raise will bring the basic salary for production-line workers from 900 renminbi ($132.98) per month to 2,000 renminbi ($295.5). Its move to hire counselors was criticized because of the councilor to employee ratio. The Foxconn plant in question employees roughly 800,000 people, and a total of 100 councilors."

Yeah I went back and read that again. There are eight hundred thousand employees in this factory. Just to put that in perspective, that's about the same as Austin TX, Indianapolis IN, the entire state of South Dakota, or the country of Cyprus. It'a s lot of people packed in a relatively tiny factory.
"The BBC reports that Foxconn Thursday confirmed that a 22-year-old employee had died after falling from a dormitory on Wednesday."

He fell from a dormitory! They have dorms at this factory! So not only does it have enough people to fill an entire country, but it's also got housing!

What the fuck is wrong with these people? (Foxconn). First imagine a factory with 800,000 workers. Then imagine that a lot of them LIVE in the fucking factory. Is 100 councelors really the answer? What's going to happen now that they've brought in councelors and people are still killing themselves? I guarantee at least one guy in that meeting is going to say "MOAR councelors!" (well he'd probably say the Chinese equivalent of that... which would be "mooaaah councerors!")

But seriously, it doesn't matter how much you increase these people's salaries, or how many councelors, monks, priests, exorcists or magicians you hire... if they live like caged animals and work so long that they sleep at the factory, their life is going to be miserable.

As an aside:

Now consider that Foxconn makes the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, among other Apple products and that Steve Jobs has consistently denied using Chinese sweatshop labor. Just because they have air conditioning doesn't  make it not a sweat shop, Steve.

-Mo out.

PS - fun fact (sorry, need to lighten the mood a bit). While I was trying to find something to compare 800,000 to, I was thinking of the number of government workers (for some reason or another). So i Googled government workers, and I swear these are the "autofill" results:

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