updated 03:15 pm EDT, Wed August 18, 2010
Foxconn building new factories closer to workers
Taiwanese contractor Foxconn said today it would hire 400,000 workers at new plants in China. The plants will be built closer to the new employees' homes, as the company tries to increase worker happiness after a recent number of suicides. The company's revenue has increased by 50 percent and will help afford the new workforce, which will number between 1.2 and 1.3 million.
The new factories will be built at inland provinces Henan and Sichuan to meet the new workers' wants. The current Shenzhen plant saw at least 12 suicides. This plant has about 900,000 workers, and over five years, this is expected to decrease by 170,000 with those workers moving to the new plants.
The company is also improving meals and providing more entertainment areas to boost morale and help to reduce the suicide rates. Foxconn and defenders have pointed out that the death rate is lower than the overall Chinese population, although these haven't been compared to other large companies.
Foxconn makes devices for much of the world's technology industry, including Apple, Dell, HP, Sony and most other recognizable names.