Foxconn Workers Happier than General Population

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Johnnnny, May 25, 2010.

  1. Johnnnny macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    Simple math has recently proven that Foxconn workers are actually happier than the general population! Here are the statistics.

    Recently, it was discovered that there had been 10 suicides at Foxconn this year. This being out of 486,000 workers, translates to roughly 2 suicides out of 100,000. This shows that the suicide rate is 2 out of 100,000 for workers of Foxconn.

    The latest Taiwanese Suicide Rate publicized (in 1999) has shown that the suicide rate for The People's Republic of China is 22.5 suicides out of 100,000 people every year.

    Given that the suicide rate may have changed since then, it would be of interest to compare it to the United States of America suicide rate, last publicized in 2002. The suicide rate in the United States of America is 11.0 suicides out of 100,000 people every year.

    Still a far cry from 2 suicides.

    Given that the year is not yet over (as the recent articles mention 10 suicides as of this year), it is not conclusive. However, given that the trend continues in the exact same pattern (A suicide rate of 2 out of 100,000 in 145 days of the year), it is safe to conclude, with a small margin of error, that the year will conclude with a suicide rate of just over 5 for Foxconn employees.

    STILL lower than 10 in the United States of America, and FAR lower than 22.5 for the general population of the People's Republic of China.

    It's ridiculous to point at that as proof that Foxconn is evil. This is just what happens when Journalists need a story. They made it seem like Foxconn is the source of these Suicides and must be stopped, when in reality a Foxconn employee is far less likely to commit suicide than the rest of the general population.

    I'm not saying Foxconn is a perfect place to work; the picketers and protestors speak for themselves. I just think it's wrong to mislead people to such an extent.

    That being said, there is no reason to look at Foxconn any differently than we have in the past, and even if we did, Apple wouldn't be to blame as they are not in charge of Foxconn. They are one of many companies that do business with Foxconn.

  2. megamanbnmaster macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2008
    Although in a mathematical sense, your reasoning makes sense, but in a psychological view, it doesn't. While there are more suicides overall in countries, those suicides are for different reasons, not just due to work related. By adding all the overall suicides, your reasoning is skewed bias. Try this, if it's possible, research suicides in X country due to work related issues, you'll find that the suicide rate is much lower than 2 in 100,000.
  3. Johnnnny thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    Generally I would agree with you. However I don't think that the 10 suicides were directly linked to work related issues, in each case.

    They could have been for any reason, especially given that the population of Foxconn employees is that of a small country...

    Perhaps maybe one or two of them were work related, and then their families would have begun trying to get a story out there, in which case all suicides would have been highlighted as evidence, work related or not, for the purpose of exposing the story further.
  4. Rhalliwell1 macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2008
    I'm afraid your statistics are far too out of date to conclude that Foxconn employee's are happier than the general population. I'm ignoring the comparison to the USA because China is not USA, the two countries are not even comparable. You cannot compare statistics of a nation from 11 years ago to a workforce of today. Not only that, suicide rate per 100 000 cannot conclude the happiness of a population.
  5. angevil macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    It is very sad that all those who killed themselves were very young people. I mean, they were just beginning their did they lose all hope so soon?
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Who says that any of these suicides are work related? (I mean except the idiot posters who say not only that it is work related without any evidence, it must also be iPhone work related even though 90% of Foxconn employees have nothing to do with iPhone production, but are building Wiis, XBoxes and so on).

    #10 lost his girl friend, had heavy gambling debts, and had hired some goons to beat up colleagues that he had an argument with, only to be blackmailed by them. Oh yes, I forgot, he was in the same room with an iPhone for ten minutes and that drove him over the edge.

    Ask one of the 33,000 Americans who killed themselves in 2006. Or, since you can't ask them, ask one of the estimated 400,000 to 800,000 who tried to kill themselves and survived.
  7. PeteLP macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2008

    IMO you make a very good point.

    The general level of happiness for foxconn employees is of course not so easily measurable, but that misses your point. Other articles HAVE been painting foxconn as evil based on these suicides alone (and by association, apple as well) and I believe you've tossed those arguments out on their ears.

  8. wickywahwah macrumors regular

    May 6, 2010
  9. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    The thing you are missing is that there is no way to determine how many of the FoxCon suicides were work related, and not just a result of the same pressures that every Chinese citizen feels.

    Assuming that FC employees feel the same pressures that all Chinese feel, then mathematically FC employees are happier because they commit fewer suicides.
  10. bigchief macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2009
    And you can bet there were hundreds of people standing in line trying to be hired by FC to take the place of the ones who fell on their sword.
  11. STEVESKI07 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Washington, DC
    I think a fair comparison would be Foxconn employees versus other large companies in the same country. My guess would be that a lot of people commit suicide in that country due to loss of jobs or other non-job related activities. I think it would also be more of a fair statistic if they noted out of those 22/year how many of them were unemployed.
  12. ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2010
    Foxconn Employees get a 30% raise.

    (dutch, sorry)


    After a series of suicides of workers in China, a Taiwanese manufacturer including iPhones and Apple computers from Hewlett-Packard salaries increased.

    Foxconn, the largest electronics manufacturers worldwide, pays its staff in China is now 30 percent higher wages. The salary increases thereby converted to 143 euros.

    That was a spokesman for the group announced. This year alone, ten employees in China are robbed of life.

    In the factory complex of Foxconn in the southern Shenzhen employs about 300,000 workers. Many of them come from poorer areas and live in dormitories that were built at the factory.

    The wave of suicides was a heated discussion on the separate working and living conditions in the complex. Not only Apple and Hewlett-Packard, but also other customers of Foxconn like Dell, Motorola, Nokia and Nintendo announced their own investigation.
  13. ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2010
    TAIPEI (AFN) - The Taiwanese Foxconn, the largest electronics manufacturers worldwide, on Monday for the second time in a short time a substantial pay increase for his staff announced. The company pays its staff, after a series of suicides of workers in China, from October nearly 70 percent higher wages.

    Last week showed the manufacturer including iPhones and Apple computers from Hewlett-Packard already know that wages immediately went up by 30 percent. Since October is the monthly salary equivalent to approximately 244 million production workers.

    This year alone, ten employees in China are robbed of life. In the factory complex of Foxconn in the southern Shenzhen employs about 300,000 workers.
  14. Speedracer04 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2006
    If they werent happy a few weeks ago, they sure are now! How can you not be if you are getting a 66% raise.
  15. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    The Chinese culture is very different from the Western culture, perhaps it may be difficult for you to understand.

    Many of those kids either hold a middle school education, high school, or perhaps college education. Many of them come from a one child background, many of them got what they wanted (despite being poor), and never had to work their entire lives until now. In the Chinese culture, the parents take care of their young, and then the children take full responsibility of his entire family (parents, grandparents, and if he is married, her entire family as well). So the pressure for these kids to succeed and make money is enormous. For some of the college graduates that couldn't get a better job (competition is fierce, around 6 million college graduates every year in China, associate degrees, technical schools, Uni's), they may have to resort to finding a job at the factory. For those kids, their parents invested so much of their time and money for their kids to receive a higher education, only to see them working at a low-tier job, you can imagine it is a lot of pressure for these kids. Add to it the long hours and repetitive tasks of factory work, which most of these kids aren't used to, it adds more pressure. Also, keep in mind that the compensation the family gets for a suicide is more than six-times the annual earnings of the workers, so it can be very tempting for some of those in dire financial situations.

    I am currently working in Hong Kong and travel to China frequently, I was told this by a friend at church who manages 10,000 workers for another electronics company (based in San Diego, mostly circuitry stuff for HP, Dell, etc).

    He blames most of it on false press (like the OP mentioned), reporters making up absolutely outrageous stories, but also the new generation of bratty single-child teenagers who find themselves in an ultra competitive country with huge family burdens.

    If you guys think about it, in a country like China where it executes 10,000 of its people a year, 10 suicides in a factory with 300,000 isn't exactly a big number. These kids really don't have it bad, compared to their comrades in the rural villages who hold much more unfortunate jobs. Yes some of these kids work 12 hour days, but that pretty much the standard in China, and these kids practically live in a factory city, where there are movie theaters, gyms, swimming pools etc. Compare to others in their country, it isn't bad. It is time the journalists write about something else.

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