Apple’s manufacturing partner in Asia, Foxconn, recently found itself at the center of an ongoing controversy regarding questionable working conditions and a rash of employee suicides over the past few months. While the ratio of suicides at Foxconn is actually lower than the overall suicide rate in China, Foxconn’s connection to Apple and other tech companies such as Sony has thrusted the manufacturing company into the spotlight.
With international pressure mounting, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou announced a few weeks ago that certain employees would be entitled to significant pay raises. Moreover, Foxconn also decided to put an end to a program which saw the company dish out lucrative payouts to the families of suicide victims. The now defunct payouts often bordered on $15,000, a figure which represents nearly 10 years worth of salary for the average Foxconn employee.
And in the latest update from the Far East, Gizmodo yesterday received a photo from an anonymous tipster purporting to show newly installed safety nets at the bottom of employee dorms presumably designed to dissuade Foxconn employees from jumping out of their rooms or off the top of the building. The vast majority of Foxconn suicides over the past few months have all involved employees jumping from Foxconn owned buildings.