Over a period of twenty days three employees of Foxconn, the world’s biggest subcontractor for the production of electronics, have committed suicide. According to Foxconn none of the suicides are related to issues at work, but China Labor Watch demands a thorough investigation, because of the bad reputation of the company.
The three suicides all happened at the same plant in Zhengzhou, one of Foxconn’s largest factories. The victims were a 24-year old man, a 23-year old woman and a 30-year old man.
Foxconn underlines that “an internal investigation has shown that there is no evidence work related reasons were at the foundation” and it emphasises that “experts who have investigated these tragic events in the past, have pointed out that suicide is a complex matter and that there never is just one clear reason”.
“The reasons for these building jumpings are unclear”, says China Labor Watch, which has started an investigation. The NGO, with headquarters in New York, does not exclude there’s a connection with a new "policy at Zhengzhou in which workers are purportedly threatened with termination if they talk on the job”. The authorities of the Central Chinese province Henan have also started an investigation.
The new incidents are very unwelcome for Foxconn, now the company id bit by bit cleaning up its image.
Unions and organisations who work with human and worker’s rights, have had their sights on Foxconn for some time. The Taiwanese producer of electronics, which is subcontracted by Nokia, Sony, HP and Apple, has a bad reputation since at least thirteen employees committed suicide in 2010. Foxconn in China has about 1.2 million employees.