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Foxconn 'regrets' suicide cluster
Date: 2010/5/13 Click: 2308
Taiwan's Foxconn Technology, a contract maker of the iPhone and other consumer electronics, insisted yesterday its treatment of workers was "world class" despite a woman, 24, becoming the sixth employee of its Chinese mainland factory to commit suicide this year.

"We regret to see the recurrence of such incidents," Foxconn said a day after the Foxconn factory worker, surnamed Zhu, killed herself by jumping from her rented apartment in Shenzhen, in Guangdong Province, The Associated Press reported.

A native of central China's Henan Province, she joined Foxconn just last August.

Foxconn, the world's largest contract maker of electronics, has attracted wide attention following a spate of suicides among young workers at its massive Shenzhen factory complex, where about 300,000 people are employed.

Two other Foxconn workers have made unsuccessful attempts at taking their own lives in recent times.

A week ago a male worker, surnamed Lu, 24, committed suicide by jumping from a building inside the complex.

The most notable Foxconn suicide came last July when Sun Danyong, 25, jumped from his high-rise apartment after being questioned over a missing iPhone prototype.

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou planned to invite monks from Shanxi Province to hold a religious ceremony to commemorate the dead and bless the living, reported on Tuesday.

Foxconn makes products for leading Western companies including the Mac mini, the iPod, the iPad, and the iPhone for Apple and motherboards for Intel and Zoostorm.

Apple investigated claims of abusive Foxconn employment practices stemming from a June 2006 complaint and found the allegations to be largely unfounded, AP said.

However, it did conclude that some employees were working more than Foxconn's mandated maximum hours during peak production times and that many workers were getting insufficient days off.

Foxconn spokesman Arthur Huang told AP the firm was dedicated to its employees.

Foxconn had been assessed by globally respected non-government organizations, such as Oxfam, to be a leader in socially responsible practices, Huang said.
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