You might have heard that there has been a rash of suicides at Foxconn, a manufacturing partner with Apple, Nokia, and many other big names in tech. Since January, there have been thirteen suicide attempts, ten successful. There’s a whole lot that Foxconn is trying to do to change this situation: of the more reasonable solutions, there’s a 20% pay increase, counseling, and Apple is reportedly chipping in 1% – 2% of iPhone sales to go to Foxconn employees. On the crazier side, they apparently hired an exorcist, and new workers now have to sign a pledge to not kill themselves.
An independent investigation revealed that though it’s not quite a sweatshop, the employees are under obscenely close scrutiny and aren’t paid especially well. Apple, among other customers like HP and Dell, have begun looking into the obvious morale issue, and although salary does seem to be the biggest complaint, hopefully the investigation will bear a more long-term solution than throwing money at the problem.
As bad as the situation’s become, it’s worth remembering not all Foxconn employees are depressed and on the verge of suicide.