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Factory not a sweatshop, says group's president

[ 2010-05-26 10:53]     字号 [] [] []  
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Terry Gou, president of Foxconn Technology Group, has denied claims that his company is a sweatshop in his first public comments after a string of suicides at his factory.

Nineteen-year-old Li Hai on Tuesday became the ninth employee to kill himself at Foxconn's large Shenzhen compound in the last five months. In all, 11 people have jumped from buildings on the site. Two survived but were severely injured.

Another suicide occurred at a smaller Foxconn plant in northern Hebei province in January.

Labor activists say the suicides back up their long-standing allegations that workers toil in terrible conditions at Foxconn, which makes computers, game consoles and cell phones for companies including Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Nokia.

Activists claim shifts are long, the assembly lines moves too fast and managers enforce military-style discipline.

However, shortly after the latest death, Gou denied the claims and promised to stabilize the situation. The company's boss is currently in Taipei at a forum on economic cooperation between Sichuan province and Taiwan.

Chen Hongfang, deputy director of Foxconn's labor union, said Li had only worked in Foxconn's South China Training Center for 42 days.

"Li was a vocational school graduate from Hunan province. He fell from a building at 6:20 am," he said.

Other sources said Li left a note to his father saying he was sorry he could no longer take care of him.

About a dozen people from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions staged a protest outside Foxconn's offices in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

They held signs that read: "Foxconn lacks a conscience" and "Suicide is no accident". They also burned cardboard cutouts resembling iPhones.

A spokesperson for Foxconn, which is part of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, insisted its workers are treated well.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Factory not a sweatshop, says group's president

Factory not a sweatshop, says group's president

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.