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Foxconn suggests latest suspected suicide was drunken accident

2011/07/19 23:15:29

Taipei, July 19 (CNA) Taiwan-funded Foxconn Technology Group, one of the world's largest electronics manufacturers, tried Tuesday to contain damage from a suspected suicide attempt by one of its employees by contending that the employee's fall was not due to work pressure.

Earlier in the day, media reports out of China said that a 21-year-old employee had died in an apparent suicide after falling from the sixth floor of a building at the company's complex in Shenzhen, in southern China's Guangdong Province.

But Foxconn Vice President Terry Cheng attributed the death to a possible accident, citing that the employee had only worked two hours of overtime since he joined Foxconn on June 27.

"Based on my preliminary understanding, the employee is not a staff on the production line, but works as an operator in our research department," Cheng said. "The employee is still under a training program and has just worked overtime for only two hours during the past 20 days, so we think it is irrelevant to working pressure."

He suggested that "prior to the accident, the employee had dined with 20 to 30 other colleagues, and they were likely drunk after the gathering."

Cheng made the remarks after attending a signing ceremony in Taipei, in which Foxconn signed a trade deal worth of US$2 billion (NT$57.8 billion) with China's telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co.

Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. in Taiwan, has tried to prevent suicides after the company experienced attempted suicides by more than 10 of its workers since the beginning of 2010, with the vast majority of the incidents occurring in the first half of last year.

The incidents brought to light the high-pressure conditions in Hon Hai's Chinese factories and tarnished its reputation -- forcing the company to reconsider its management policies and increase wages substantially.

(By Jeffrey Wu)
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