Foxconn Message to Beleaguered Employees: Love Your Life…Please

by Matt Klassen on August 19, 2010

"Happy" Foxconn Employees...despite the lack of actual happiness

The latest news out of Foxconn Technology Group, the manufacturing company that experienced an alarming rash of employee suicides early this year, is that everything’s fine. In fact, just look at how happy the Foxconn employees are now; they’re positively ecstatic to be working deplorably long hours for almost no money! So Foxconn, why are the nets designed to prevent suicides still hanging from the tops of buildings? Oh, that’s nothing; we just like the way they look.

In true communist fashion, there’s no better way to motivate disgruntled employees than through some well placed propaganda. So why not throw a huge rally at several of the plants that have experienced employee suicides and let them know that everything will be okay?

Better yet, why not make the theme of the rally, “Treasure Your Life, Love Your Family, Care for Each Other to Build a Wonderful Future.” Because we all know that if you treasure your family, care for the guy next to you, and desire a wonderful future, you’ll put up with a lot of s**t.

Although it has been awhile since we followed up on this ongoing tragedy from the Chinese based Foxconn manufacturing facilities that produce hardware for the likes of Apple, HP, Sony, Dell, and Nokia, are all these smiling faces enough to convince us that conditions in these plants have improved, or did Foxconn just throw a party and request that everyone “dress up” in “I [heart] Foxconn” T-shirts. If I were a betting man, I would put money on the latter.

The executives at Foxconn are using these rallies, though, to deliver an additional message. Aside from the need to love yourself, love your family, and for God’s sake to please stop killing yourself, the employees have been promised a significant pay increase; more than doubling their previous wage to a still pitiful $293 per month

But just how confident is Foxconn itself as to the success of these rallies and promised pay increases at stemming the tide of unfortunate suicides? It turns out, not confident at all. As Louis Woo, assistant at the founder of Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai Precision Industry, explained, “No matter how hard we try, such things will continue to happen.” Hmmm, so that’s why they left the nets up.

While I’m sure increased wages will help some beleaguered Foxconn employees endure for a little while, no amount of money can assuage the deep-seated dissatisfaction of performing the same menial task for brutally long work hours.

Simply put, Foxconn is a company that preys on poor and marginalized people groups to makeup an underpaid workforce to produce low cost hardware to tech companies around the world; a modern technology sweat shop, and we here in North America are putting up with it simply because we like our toys.

Photo c/o Wired

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Jordan Richardson August 19, 2010 at 6:09 am

I heard the “Take the Plunge: Work at Foxconn” shirts were rejected from the photo-op. That’s a shame.

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