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Apple, Dell and HP to Investigate Suicides at Asian Supplier

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Filed: Timeline

Apple, Dell and HP are investigating their overseas partner Foxconn, a Chinese component maker that has seen several employee suicides in the past year.

Labor activists have accused Foxconn of instituting sweatshop-like work conditions for its employees, compelling nine workers to kill themselves to escape their harsh routines. Apple, Dell and HP have announced that they are in contact with Foxconn to examine the work conditions.

Foxconn’s harsh work conditions have been especially high-profile because it is known for producing components for the phenomenally popular iPhone, among products for companies other than Apple. However, labor issues have been prevalent across Asian suppliers for years. Many Asian-supply workers and labor-rights activists have cited sweatshop-like conditions such as hourly wages below a dollar, violations of work hours and firings without notice.

The most sensational story about Foxconn to date involved an employee committing suicide over the loss of a prototype fourth-generation iPhone after allegedly being bullied by the company’s security officers. The New York Times launched an independent investigation, in which a reporter’s translator faced physical threats from a Foxconn security officer while questioning the victim’s family.

The ninth Foxconn death occurred Tuesday with a 19-year-old’s apparent suicide — just one week after the company’s eighth employee suicide.

Read More http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/05/foxconn-suicides/#ixzz0p491vr6B

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