Foxconn: workers committed suicide at workplace
In speeches during annual dinners, most bosses by default would thank their staffs for their contributions over the years. The sincerity of the gratitude might not extend equally to the entire staffs. I’m convinced that the gratitude is given more to the knowledge workers, rather than the entire labor force.
“Without your collective efforts, the company would not achieve the new height in the past year”, I almost can imagine the rhetoric of Terry Guo, the boss of Foxconn as the largest contract manufacturer in the world, when addressing his employees during the auspicious night, with the hinted underlying false sense that was overtly too loud.
Because, 11 Foxconn’s workers took their own lives by jumping off their workplace in Shenzhen in the past four months is the satire to his Thanksgiving, and 25 year-old Sun Danyong, committed suicide after the lost of an iPhone 4G prototype during transportation to Apple last July.
General investigation exposed Foxconn employees to have constantly living in dire working environment, under the pressure of stringent competing in the firm. If to compare Foxconn’s workplace with Google’s that is full of amenities and freedom, we could conclude the two extreme treatments are due to the former belongs to the labor-intensive industry, and the latter represents the knowledge-based company.
Bring your pet to work
Indeed we have to accept the fact that any bosses who own factories, would not hesitate to axe labors to a minimum, and boost automation to a maximum. Labors to them are merely the trivial bolts and nuts, tightening any loose ends to complete machinery cycle. The reason is apparent because unlike laborers, besides regular maintenance and mortgage repayments, machine neither utters any complaint nor launching a strike, let alone demands for higher wages or better welfare.
Just like exploitation that is more susceptible at the labor level, I believe labor-intensive industry is easier to be replaced in this competitive world.
Workplace at FingerTec
I am against treating human beings like bolts and nuts; hence I have to ensure more knowledge is required to produce FingerTec products. Our factory is mainly involved in assembly works, quality control, customization and activities that elevate the value chain. And I believe more value added to a product would require more human brains, eventually would create a better working place.
When we claim We Make Things Easy, we actually have a lot of hard thinking process at the back.
by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ