Suicide-haunted Foxconn Rallies to Boost Morale
    2010-08-19 05:11:47     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zheng Zhi
 

Foxconn Technology Group, the world's largest electronics contractor, held a rally Wednesday for its workers to raise their morale at its Shenzhen complex in south China's Guangdong Province, where most of the highly publicized employee suicides happened.

Titled "Love Your Life, Love Your Family", the motivational rally was attended by more than 20,000 workers at the complex, which the company hoped would strengthen cohesion among workers and encourage them to treasure life, said Chen Peng, chairman of the company's labor union.

The company, which makes high-tech products for top brands, including the Apple iPhones, came under fire after more than 10 workers committed suicide by jumping from factory and dormitory buildings since 2009. The suicides were blamed on the company's strict management of employees.

Altogether, 50,000 workers took part in Wednesday's rallies, which were also held in other Foxconn facilities across China.

Following a string of suicides, the company raised wages, provided psychological counselling, set up activity groups and installed safety nets on buildings to catch would-be jumpers.

Terry Cheng, vice president of the Foxconn Group, said Wednesday that Foxconn would not leave Shenzhen City, where more than half of its 800,000 Mainland employees are located, amid public speculation that Foxconn is moving its factory production to inland China where costs are lower than the prosperous southern city.

A new Foxconn factory began production in central China's Henan Province on August 2. Additionally, the company has opened plants in the inland regions of Hebei, Shanxi, Hubei and Chongqing. In July, it also invested in two factories in Sichuan Province.

According to Cheng, Foxconn is "expanding", rather than "moving" its business to inland areas.

However, the number of workers in Shenzhen would be reduced to 300,000 to 350,000 from the current 450,000, Cheng added.

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