Tech Manufacturer Sees 10th Employee Death Of The Year

BEIJING — Another employee of high-tech manufacturer Foxconn Technology jumped to his death at its southern Chinese plant late Wednesday, the 10th this year at the complex in a spate of suspected suicides by employees of the Taiwanese technology company, Chinese state media reported early Thursday.

BEIJING — Another employee of high-tech manufacturer Foxconn Technology jumped to his death at its southern Chinese plant late Wednesday, the 10th this year at the complex in a spate of suspected suicides by employees of the Taiwanese technology company, Chinese state media reported early Thursday.

The death came just hours after Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou led local and foreign reporters on a damage-control tour around the company's sprawling Shenzhen plant and pledged the firm will do everything to prevent more deaths, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Xinhua quoted a witness surnamed Ye as saying the worker fell to his death from a dormitory building in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, at around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday.

The death has been confirmed by Foxconn, the news agency added.

Xinhua said the dead man, surnamed He, was 23 years old.

Apart from the 10 deaths, another two Foxconn employees survived apparent suicide attempts but were seriously injured.

Another suicide reportedly took place earlier this year in Foxconn's plant in Hebei Province in northern China.

Foxconn is a unit of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest manufacturer of consumer electronics. It produces high-tech gadgets for leading consumer brands, including Apple's iPhones and Nokia phones.

Of 800,000 staff it employs in China, 420,000 are based in Shenzhen. The workers work shifts and live in dormitories on the massive factory premises.

Gou told reporters Wednesday the company has been installing safety nets covering 1.5 million square meters around most of the dormitories and factory buildings, Xinhua reported.

He said Foxconn had also invited 70 psychiatrists to give counseling to employees and are training more than a hundred staff to be volunteer counselors.

"I cannot guarantee that similar deaths will not happen again, but we are doing our utmost to look after and care more for our staff," Gou was quoted as saying.

Li Ping, secretary general of the Shenzhen municipal government, at a press conference Wednesday called on employees of Foxconn to cherish lives and stay strong, said Xinhua.

Li attributed the suicides to complicated individual, company and social factors, and said the young workers, most born in the 1980s or 90s, had weak adjustment abilities when faced with pressure.

They were away from their hometown and were shown little love and care from society, Li was further quoted as saying.

The government, he added, will work with the police and Foxconn to ensure a sound living environment for workers and prevent further tragedies.

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