Foxconn denies report of attempted suicide at factory

Manufacturing giant confirms that a dispute occurred at one of its factories but denies that anyone jumped from the roof.

The gate for one of Foxconn's factories in Shenzhen, the south China city that borders Hong Kong. Jay Greene/CNET

Foxconn, which was plagued by worker suicides a few years ago, has denied a report out of China that a female employee jumped from the roof of one of the manufacturing giant's factories last week.

According to a post on the Chinese microblogging Web site Sina Weibo and reported by Kotaku, a woman unhappy with job security issues jumped Friday morning from the roof of Foxconn's Shenzhen factory but survived. It was also reported that three other employees were also on the roof, threatening to jump.

Foxconn, which produces consumer electronics for companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Sony, confirmed in a statement to CNET that a worker dispute had occurred at the facility but denied there were any injuries.

"We can confirm that on March 29, three employees at our campus in Longhua, Shenzhen were involved in a workplace dispute over the company's decision to offer them an opportunity to relocate to another Foxconn China facility as part of a shift in production linked to their business group," Foxconn said. "As a result of that dispute, the employees in question gathered at the top of a campus building and stayed there until local law enforcement authorities arrived at the scene."

"The dispute was resolved peacefully and no one was injured," the company said. "Any reports to the contrary are totally inaccurate."

The Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing giant is frequently criticized for poor working conditions, and at least 14 Foxconn workers have taken their lives at factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu since the beginning of 2010. In response to the situation, the company promised to install "suicide nets" to discourage employees from jumping and said it would offer a 20 percent wage increase to some workers.

About the author

Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. Before joining CNET News in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.

 

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