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article imageChinese iPad factory workers forced to sign no-suicide pacts

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By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     May 8, 2011 in World
Workers at Foxconn facilities in China, which make iPads and iPhones among other technology, were forced to sign written promises that they would not commit suicide, reveals a study.
Foxconn's factories at Chengdu and Shenzhen, that builds several apple products have become notorious over the years after a number of it's employees committed suicide. At least 14 employees at Foxconn factories in Chinese Mainland have committed suicide in the past one year due to depressing working conditions.
According to a report published by Hong Kong based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) the conditions in Foxconn factories are dismal. Many workers at these factories worked 80 to 100 hours of overtime a month on top of their regular 240 hours - more than three times China's legal limit. Appleā€™s own code of conduct for its suppliers do not allow them to force their employees work more than 60 hours per week.
The new ' no suicide pledge ' will prevent an employee and his family from suing the company demanding compensation in the event of non-accidental injuries. Here is an excerpt from the English translation of the letter that appears in Shanghailist.
In terms of my own responsibilities, if I have great difficulties or frustrations I will reach out to relatives to resolve them or report them to the company director, I will also agree to contact and communicate with colleagues, personal staff and relatives. However, I will not harm myself or others; I agree that, in order for the company to protect me and others, it can send me to a hospital should I exhibit abnormal physical or mental problems.
In the event of non-accidental injuries (including suicide, self mutilation, etc.), I agree that the company has acted properly in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, and will not sue the company, bring excessive demands, take drastic actions that would damage the company's reputation or cause trouble that would hurt normal operations.
Foxconn employs more than 800,000 workers at its plants. Last year, Foxconn installed some 1.5 million square meters of safety netting around the workplace and the associated dormitories to prevent the employees from jumping to death.
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