updated 10:18 am EDT, Mon April 1, 2013
Foxconn spokesperson denies any suicide attempts
There are conflicting accounts over attempted suicides at Foxconn's main manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. On Friday, initial reports indicated that two people had jumped off a building; several stories said that in all, three workers climbed to the top of building G14. One source suggests that the people were worried about their jobs. The company has seen lower orders in 2013, prompting it to find ways of shedding workers.
Despite the weekend reports, which included photos of the incident, a Foxconn spokesperson -- Liu Kun -- has denied any suicide attempts. There are no accounts of anyone dying, which may be attributable to the nets the company installed around its Shenzhen buildings a few years ago in response to a rash of suicides. At the time, those were blamed on a combination of low wages and poor working conditions, including extreme amounts of overtime.
Although Foxconn improved both wages and conditions in response to pressure from clients like Apple, in recent times the company has reportedly lowered wages again. It is even allegedly charging workers for services that used to be free, which could create problems given that salaries are often barely above sustenance levels.