Suicide at Apple supplier in China caused by mistreatment, says victim's family

A worker fell to his death after trying to request a leave of abscence from electronics manufacturer Foxlink, says his family

By , IDG News Service |  Consumerization of IT

He Cheng had wanted to take the vacation to meet with his sister, who lives in Taiwan but returned to mainland China in order to celebrate the National Day holiday with family. Now their mother is currently in the hospital due to the shock of her son's death.

Jin Jie, the investigator with Little Grass Workers' Home, said management at the Foxlink factory routinely berated workers while he was employed at the facility. Workers at the factory generally make 2,000 yuan a month, and are largely made up of students aged 16 to 18, who come from vocational schools as part of internships.

"Management will get mad at the workers because the production output is too low," he said, noting that there were often too few workers on the assembly line to meet the production demand. "The management has no sympathy for the workers."

Apple's supply chain has been facing growing scrutiny since 2010, when a string of suicides occurred at Foxconn facilities in China. Both Apple and Foxconn have defended the working conditions at the facilities, with Foxconn moving to limit working hours and raise wages for employees. Worker incidents, however, continue to occur. Last month, a riot involving thousands broke out at a Foxconn factory in Taiyuan, China, which employees say was caused by harsh treatment by company security guards.

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