Another Foxconn Worker Dies, Despite Company Promises to Improve Conditions

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Yet another Foxconn worker has died in an apparent suicide Friday at the company's Shenzhen manufacturing plant, raising the death toll to at least 14 this year, despite promises by the company it would improve working conditions.

The worker jumped from Foxconn's Shenzhen manufacturing complex in Southern China, according to an AFP report. This year alone, 10 of the 14 suicides have occurred at the Shenzhen facility, the report notes.

Foxconn International Holdings, which manufactures Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and iPad and electronics for other technology titans, has come under increasing pressure from its customers as the suicides mount.

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In June, the Taiwanese electronics giant vowed to double the salaries for employees who passed performance tests. That policy shift came about the same time that Apple's CEO Steve Jobs publicly stated his company was closely monitoring the situation over at Foxconn.

Foxconn also stated it it would reduce overtime, improve working conditions, and build new manufacturing plants in provinces that are closer to workers' homes, according to Reuters. A number of Foxconn employees come from poor inland provinces in China, rather than the coastal areas where Foxconn has its manufacturing campuses.

But a recent survey of nearly 2,000 of Foxconn's approximately 900,000 workers say they rack up an average of 83.2 hours a month in overtime -- far exceeding the 36 hours allowed under China's laws, according to AFP. Foxconn workers also complained of receiving inadequate overtime pay, as well as insufficient medical check ups after exposure to hazardous substances.
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