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Workers working for Foxconn factory attempted suicide



Workers working for Foxconn factory attempted suicide

In 2010, 18 workers working for Foxconn factory attempted suicide. (Hiffernan, 2013). Since then, a spate of suicides has occurred, causing a media sensation. Foxconn is a Taiwanese company whose less popular name is Hon Hai Precision Industry Company. Although the company, which forms the largest firm in China’s private sector works for a number of other global companies including Microsoft, Dell, Sony, and Samsung, it is the workers involved in making iPhones that attracted the attention of the media the most through the high number of suicides. In 2010, a worker jumped to his death at the company’s premises and it was feared that more people were committing suicide (Branigan, 2010). Fullerton (2018) reports that 2010 and 2011 witnessed successive waves of suicide that were both alarming and worrying. It is evident that there are several causes of these suicides including poor working conditions, too much work-related stress, and failure to provide employee benefits.Workers working for Foxconn factory attempted suicide

According to Condliffe (2018), Foxconn subjects it employs to poor working conditions. Over the years, the company has demonstrated its failure to ensure the safety of its workers. In 2011, for instance, one worker was left with brain damage after encountering an electric shock. In the same year, 18 people were seriously injured and four others lost their lives when an explosion occurred at the factory. Interestingly, the management has not done much to improve the working conditions within the factory. Branigan (2010) reports that workers at the factory suffer from stress, a factor that is recognized by the management which at one point hired counselors for the workers. The notes written by those who commit suicide, I have indicated of workers suffering from immense stress as a result of long working hours and harsh managers. The migrant workers are the most vulnerable. Despite the monotonous nature of their work, they are required to work for 10 hours without speaking to be working so well on the production line. Moreover, the majority of them are separated from their families (Branigan, 2010). Another major issue at the factory is withholding of employee benefits. In 2012, concerns were raised that the company wasn’t paying each employee we like the same thing forcing them to work for excessive hours. Although the Foxconn promised to raise wages by 20%, this did not solve the problem as a number 150 workers climbed to the roof of a factory and threatened to commit suicide unless working conditions were improved.

Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs insisted that the conditions at the Foxconn factory were better than what one would expect and that the rates of suicide were within the expected national average. Steve reported that the factor was equipped with cinemas and swimming pools, making it be better than what was required. Some of the potential issues that emerged include the employment of underage workers. Condliffe (2018) reports that Foxconn admitted having employed teenager aged 14 years and subjecting student-worker to long working hours and unpaid overtime.

According to Chan (2018), South Korea cut the number of working hours from 68 to 52 hours every week with the aim of bringing to an end the chronic overwork culture that has dominated the country four years. The aim is to ensure more work-life balance among its citizens. The Ethical Trading Initiative (n.d) reports that in China, instances of workers being forced to work for long hours are common despite the fact that the practice is a breach of both the Base Code and the national law. In China, a person working for normal hours is expected to spend a total of eight hours each day at work, translate into 40 hours each week. However, the maximum allowable working hours is for a whole week 58. This is less than the 60 hours specified in ethical Trading Initiative Base Code. In the short run, it is unlikely that the Chinese government will reduce the maximum working hours allowed in a week from 58 to a lower figure, given that more companies across the world are still shifting their operations to China to take advantage of highly-skilled and cheap labor. Over the years to come as China becomes more developed a population reduces and ages, it is likely that the government will cut the maximum working hours to protect the lives of its citizens.Workers working for Foxconn factory attempted suicide


The high number of suicides that have been reported at Foxconn’ factory indicate the deep psychological problems among the employees of the company. According to Bartlett (2010), people develop suicidal thoughts when they feel that either lonely or they are becoming a burden two others. When these two factors of overlap and effective methods of committing suicide are readily available, a person that feels lonely and a burden to others is likely to kill himself. Therefore, my action plan will focus on their employees, by providing them with the necessary support and education.

As the human resource manager, I would suggest that the company establishes an accommodating work environment to enable co-workers to support one another. Instead of banning workmates from even speaking to each other, there is a need for the company to allow communication between workers in order to ease the pressure. I would also emphasize the need for all supervisors within the factory to be trained afresh with a specific focus on developing their interpersonal skills and listening ability. This would help to improve their relationship with the factory workers and thereby reduce the great work pressure that is being heaped on the workers at present. Although the company had hired counselor, I would urge the management to promote a help-seeking culture among all the workers and senior employees so that individuals suffering from mental problems can be helped in advance before they cause injury to themselves and two others. I would create an office under my department that focuses on helping the needs of employees such as missed salaries. Individuals that have mental problems would also be free to visit the office and seek help without fear of being stereotyped. I would initiate a mandatory suicide prevention education targeting all workers.Workers working for Foxconn factory attempted suicide


With Apple being accused of contracting a firm that exploits workers in an overseas country, there is a need for the corporate social responsibility department to address the issue so as to improve the company’s public relations. The action plan will be based on communication. As a manager in charge of the public relations department, I will respond to the allegations with the aim of publicly addressing the problem. The focus will be to help the public understand that the reports being circulated in different media outlets about the conditions at the factory are not true. I will inform our customers that buy our products about the visits made to the factory by Apple’s top executive and findings that they came out with. I will highlight the things that need to be improved such as the worker’ dormitories, and what Apple is doing to ensure that Foxconn improves those areas.


Equal Pay Day is a symbolic day set aside to sensitive the community about gender pay gaps, a situation where women are paid less compared to men for the same work. From 2002 until today, Equal Pay Day is celebrated on second Tuesday, April, each year. In 2019, the day was celebrated on April 2, marking the three more months that an average woman had to toil stretching into the new year to earn an amount that equals that of an average white man during the previous years. Observance of the day differs from one country to the other. In Latin America, it will be celebrated on November 20, 2019, in Portugal, it will be celebrated on November 2, 2019. There are different Equal Pay Days Around the world as a result of differences in formulas used to calculate the date and variations in white gunk from one country to the other.

  1. B

Women tend to be interrupted in their careers as a result of motherhood. According to Ortiz-Ospina (2018), a research conducted by Lundborg, Plug and Rasmussen (2017) revealed that women who had invitro fertilization process being conducted successfully ended up with earning that were lower when compared to other women that whose in vitro fertilization treatment was not successful. Workers working for Foxconn factory attempted suicide

Discrimination and negative bias. Women are exposed to sexual discrimination during job recruitment, and this hinders their ability to negotiate for better salaries. If women were to be informed that the salary is negotiable, they have been found to negotiate as thoroughly as men do.

Gender roles. According to Ortiz-Ospina (2018), more women than men seek full-time jobs that will enable them to attend to other family responsibilities including child rearing. This clearly indicates that while men are not expected to be flexible in their jobs, women have to ensure temporal flexibility. It is common to find women rearranging their shape to take care of emergencies. It should be noted that most of these jobs attract a lower salary.Workers working for Foxconn factory attempted suicide

The industry sector is another major contributor to the wage gap. Men are more likely to take up relatively risky and dangerous yet high paying jobs clothing construction and mining. On the other hand, women prefer to take up jobs in the service and hospitality industries as well as clerical jobs that pay lower wages.

  1. C

In the United Kingdom, one of the regulations that seek to eliminate gender pay gap came into effect in April 2017 and requires companies that have employed more than 250 workers to provide their data to the government pertaining to the gender pay gap. A number of companies that initially had wide gaps have been struggling to close them. On the other hand, Iceland is the first country to legally enforce equal pay (Henley, 2018). For decades, however, the country has been recognized as the most equal in terms of gender. In Canada, a general trade union known as Unifor has been engaged in a campaign that aims at closing the pay gap. The organization notes that although Canada is a developed country, women are approximately 70% of what men earn (Unifor, 2019). It seeks to draw intervention from the government and business actors so that to reduce the inequality and poverty that women are economically subjected to.Workers working for Foxconn factory attempted suicide