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Ninth Suicide At iPhone Factory 539

shar303 writes "A ninth employee has jumped to his death at Taiwanese iPhone and iPad manufacturer Foxconn, China's state media reports. The 21-year-old worker was the eighth fatality this year. This raises questions as to whether the shiny finish of the latest gadgets available from mega corporations are tarnished by such information, and whether the mistreatment of workers deserves to be highlighted when considering such firms."
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Ninth Suicide At iPhone Factory

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  • Suicide? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Maarx ( 1794262 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:47PM (#32298648)
    Any reputable confirmations that this is, in fact, even suicide, and not the government turning a blind eye when one of it's huge sources of technology hardware starts knocking off troublemakers?
  • Re:WoW (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:54PM (#32298800)

    I have never seen so much liberal-bullshit crammed into a single sentence as that last one. Congrats, you must be proud.

    Yes, if you die because of good old-fashioned US-American values like capitalism, you deserve to; and you should be proud to die for such a heroic principle. Every death that makes somebody a few bucks is a good death.

  • Re:Apple. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:57PM (#32298846)

    It seems to be worse on Apple's factories. See these videos [].

  • Re:Apple. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:07PM (#32299006) Journal

    Why the heck don't we just make more stuff in the US. I mean really!

    How many Americans do you know who would really be willing to work on an assembly line? I did it once for a summer job, and it wasn't fun. Already we need to import immigrants to do things like yardwork, and yardwork is way better than assembly-line stuff. It would take a serious economic downturn before people would want to go back to factories.

  • Re:Apple. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:15PM (#32299126)

    Thousands of people in this country would jump at a chance to do assembly line work.

    As for the line that "we need to import immigrants to do things like yardwork", thats just the line pro-immigrant-explotation people spew. Yards were cleaned and grass was clipped before everything went to illegal and migrant labor in the 1990s. I should know, I worked yard crew in college, about the time the immigration laws stopped being enforced the illegals who would work hard and cheaper put us all out of business.

  • Re:Apple. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:17PM (#32299168)

    Alternatively, you have a few pieces of anecdotal evidence pointing at the easiest target in the entire tech industry.

    Maybe HP, Dell, Lenovo, ... don't appear in said videos because posting a blog saying "zomg, HP did something awful" doesn't get you the same sort of advertising revenue as posting one saying "zomg, Apple did something awful".

  • by OeLeWaPpErKe ( 412765 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:21PM (#32299224) Homepage

    You're confusing communism and totalitarianism

    How would communism work in the real world (ie. not everyone agrees) without totalitarianism ?

    Centrally directed economy means that every object anyone has, anything at all, from underpants, socks, to phones, ipads and even computers only got to that person at the direct command of the government. How could such a system not be totalitarian ? In a theoretical "perfect" communism any call you make over the phone needs to get approved by the government (or one might even say that only calls initiated by the government would be legal).

    Interestingly, the reverse is not true. A system can perfectly well be totalitarian without being communist. Though I suppose some communist tendencies (such as interference in everything) are unavoidable. They're (in Latin America, or Iran for example) generally not nearly as pervasive as in examples of communist states though.

  • Yeah, China's suicide rate is really high period. 13.9/100000 according to wiki. With a population of 400k, this particular company will need more than 4x more suicides this year before this becomes a real issue.

    Heck, the US has a suicide rate of 11.1/100k, I guess that's also Apple's fault.

  • by jeko ( 179919 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:47PM (#32299554)

    People act so surprised by this, as they buy their high-complexity electronics from wal-mart at dirt cheap prices.

    Wow, I totally overlooked that "Don't Beat Your Workers" price tag at WalMart, as well my local "No Oppression Electronics" store.

    OK, look, forgive my snark and the angry frustration that follows, but the general public is not to blame for the horrific way these factories are managed. Prices are set as high as the market will bear. Companies have entire departments whose whole job is to figure out "At what price are our profits maximized?" and costs do not enter into it. No company has ever said, "Wow, we could make a profit at $10, so even though we'd make the same number of sales at $100 for our widget, we just wouldn't feel right taking the extra money..."

    The blood money these companies make does not go into my pocket. I paid plenty for my goods. At the price I paid, these workers would have full, meaningful lives if only management paid them their fair share.

    Ever since Tiananmen, I have tried my best to boycott China. I routinely pay extra to buy "Made in the USA" only to find that label is a lie.

    I have no way of knowing how the products I buy on a day-to-day basis were manufactured. I don't buy Nike. Guess what? Asics, Adidas and New Balance are manufactured in the same horrible places. Oh, "Quit buying yuppie crap," you say? All the generic goods say "Made in Godawful Horror" as well.

    Fortunately, there is a man in America with the power to save these poor people. His name is Steve Jobs. I understand "Our CEO Below" has quite the sweatshop prepared for him. Given the shaky state of his liver, you'd think Steve would be a bit more worried about his soul.

    Yeah, that was a cheap shot. Cheap shots are all I have left. My political vote seems to count for squat. I can't even say "Vote with my wallet" with a straight face. I'd be more than happy to join the protest, but protesting from the "free speech zone" in a chainlink box in the next town doesn't get it done. I'm not willing to hurt anybody.

    So if reminding the man who is responsible for this blood of his own mortality is the only shot I have left, I'll take it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:51PM (#32299620)

    How can you compare country wide to a single company? How about the majority of people committing suicide being unemployed? Changes your misleading BS a tad eh?

    Oh look, this user has just created this account just to make this very post. A post that has been appearing all over the web recently. Hmmm, Apple or Foxconn employee?

  • Re:Apple. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:54PM (#32299656) Journal

    >>>the job, besides being low pay, isn't at all bad

    The video shows a 24 year old woman committing suicide. She's so tired she can barely walk. It shows workers being denied their 10 minute breaks. It shows that 5% of the workers quit every month, and a diary where a man says he feels like he's living in workplace hell, day-after-day, year-after-year. Not that bad of a job? I certainly wouldn't do it.

  • by lymond01 ( 314120 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:56PM (#32299690)

    Look at the U.S. It's a combination of capitalism and communism. Our government collects portions of our income and disperses it into public projects: infrastructure, aid, health care...even the occasional direct payment which, as far as I can tell, is a completely political piece of nonsense used to pander to the masses. It works fairly well, but it should apply a little more taxation on the truly rich. Not giving money to the poor directly, but not forcing the poor to pay the rich person's prices.

    The government in the U.S. would do well by subsidizing more things: farming is well subsidized; education needs a whole hell of a lot more money; alternative fuel research and implementation would help drive down gas prices as well as provide more economic means of transportation. I don't want to take your iPhone, nor do I want straight-up handouts. But why not tweak the market a bit more to bring down internet prices, deploy a better network infrastructure, etc.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:15PM (#32299946)

    You're confusing communism and totalitarianism

    How would communism work in the real world (ie. not everyone agrees) without totalitarianism ?

    Communism is an overloaded term. Being both an economic term and a political movement makes it pretty difficult to discuss without first defining terms. Economically capitalism is individually owned resources, socialism is government owned resources, and communism is resources shared by a subset of society. Economically speaking, the atomic family sharing a home and groceries and electrical bills is communism with extremely small cell sizes. Co-op stores, monasteries, and traditional communes are communism applied with slightly larger communist cell sizes.

    But I think what you're talking about is socialism. There is a connection between totalitarianism and socialism, in that the more socialism is prevalent in an economy, the more centralized resources are, the easier it is for someone to take control and establish a totalitarian regime. That doesn't mean you can't have extreme levels of socialism in a completely democratic system of government, it's just more difficult to maintain.

  • Re:Apple. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xaositecte ( 897197 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:30PM (#32300106) Journal

    Wait what? 400,000 people inside that factory?

    China's suicide rate is 13.9 per 100,000 people [], so for this given subset of the population, the suicide rate is considerably lower than average.

  • Re:Apple. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by s73v3r ( 963317 ) <s73v3r@gmail.RABBITcom minus herbivore> on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:35PM (#32300178)
    The Amish and the Hudderites are fairly Communist, and they seem to work out just fine. Granted, they're a much smaller group.
  • Re:Apple. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe ( 412765 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @10:27PM (#32301976) Homepage

    If you think like that, and you truly believe that everyone is a brainless moron that just does what corporations want, then how & why would YOU be different ?

    Quite frankly, if you are indeed correct, and apple users have no culpability, no control over apple, then you need to be locked up. Simply because of what you imply you'd do if you ever heard the "kill the poor" single.

    Besides, if what you say were true, why would apple bother to actually build working devices ? If marketing has 1% the power you say it has, surely it wouldn't necessitate such hard work.

    Apple users deserve at least a 50% share of the blame, especially since they're perfectly well aware of the way these devices are made.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @08:40PM (#32310210) Homepage
    Oh, bingo. Like the furore over how the headline suicide rate in the US military is like OMFG twice the national average and more than the KIA rate!!!!11!

    Then it turns out that the military is composed almost entirely of young men, and most suicides are... wait for it... young men. And when you crunch the figures, holy crap, it turns out that if you're a young man, then the safest place for you to be is in the US military.

    Funny how you never see the final analysis in any headlines. I'm sure DailyKos will be all over it any day now.

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