Foxconn, which makes electronics (including iPads and iPhones) for several companies, including Apple, Dell, Nokia and others, announced it would cease the condolence payments of 100,000 yuan ($14,600) and provide only the officially, legally stipulated amount, which would be one-tenth of that amount.
Posters at the Shenzhen site, which is the size of a city at 300 - 400,000 workers, read: “The act is wrong. Life is precious. To prevent such tragedies, Foxconn is to cease releasing compensation other than that provided by law.”
Compensation of 10,000 yuan in cases of employee suicide is enforced by rules in Shenzhen. Reportedly, however, Foxconn had been considering each incident on a case-by-case basis, and had been paying up to 300,000 yuan, or the equivalent of ten years’ salary, to the families of those who committed suicide.
At the annual shareholder meeting in Taiwan this week, chairman Terry Gou (pictured above) held up a letter from a worker to his parents, which said: “Now I am going to jump from Foxconn. You don’t need to be broken-hearted, because Foxconn will pay some money in compensation. This is the only way your son can repay you.”
This is not the first time that there have been suggestions that the compensation Foxconn pays families is an incentive for suicide.
It has already been made public that Foxconn was installing safety nets to protect against suicide jumps, as well as putting employees into groups of 50 who are supposed monitor the mental health of each other. There are also offers of counselling services.