foxconn suicide
An old image of a Foxconn male worker named Xie committing suicide from the roof of the northwest dorm building.

One Foxconn worker has jumped to his death from an apartment building in Chengdu. The man, who has not been named, was only twenty-three years old and was reportedly employed with the company for about one month.

This hasn’t been the first time a Foxconn worker has committed suicide. In the last few years, there have been numerous suicides committed by workers. Since 2010, there has been about sixteen reported suicides all of who were factory workers at the Shenzhen factory.

At the beginning of the year, about 300 Foxconn employees from the factory that makes Microsoft Xbox video game consoles threatened to commit suicide over a dispute over pay.  Both Foxconn and Microsoft had to come up with a solution that would prevent the employees from taking drastic action.

There was another report that over 1,000 Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. (TPE:2354) employees held a riot outside their off-site dorm. Although some rioters were arrested over damaged propertie and disorderly conduct, the company said they would cooperate with law enforcement officials.

There have also been numerous reports about the poor working conditions and treatment of employees. Earlier this year, Apple chief executive Tim Cook did a tour of one Foxconn factory which made Apple products in hopes that he could see firsthand what was going on in the factories.  They also offered to work with Fair Labor Association.

At press time, the police are still investigating the sad death of the young man. Foxconn representatives have yet to release a statement.

It’s sad that a Foxconn employee took his  own life but I’m pretty sure that there is much more to the story that goes beyond problems at his work. It’s really not fair to point all the blame on Foxconn despite the history of their employees committing suicide. Perhaps the company does harbor some blame but certainly not all.