China Labour Watch, a US-based workers’ rights organisation, reports that a worker has died after jumping from a factory window on Saturday.
Li Ming, aged 31, jumped to his death from a building in the city of Zhengzhou, China, where he had been working for Foxconn – formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Foxconn is a major supplier to Apple and Chinese state media report that Zhengzhou is an important hub for manufacturing Apple’s iPhones. About 350,000 Foxconn workers reportedly work in the city producing half of all iPhones, at a rate of 350 per minute.
Yet, poor labour practices and worker suicides have been an on-going problem for Apple Inc and Foxconn. Due to Foxconn’s rapid production lines, demanding employee targets and long working hours, it was accused of forcing its workers to endure “sweat shop” conditions. It was these conditions that led to a spate of worker suicides and protests during 2010 and 2012.
Despite claims by Apple that it had addressed such problems in its supply chain, in 2017 Apple and Foxconn also admitted to abuse of Chinese student interns abuses. Whereby student workers, also at a Foxconn factory located in Zhengzhou, routinely had 11 hour shifts to assemble the new iPhone X before its release. In fact as recently as November 2017, students were discovered working overtime in Foxconn’s Chinese factory, violating local labour laws.
Such abuses and neglect by Apple and Foxconn have led SACOM, a Chinese labour rights organisation, to start a campaign called ‘iSlave at 10‘ to highlight what it calls “A Bloody Decade of the iPhone“.
Read the full article by the Telegraph here: ‘Suicide at Chinese iPhone factory reignites concern over working conditions‘