Apple Assemblers Face Suicide Outbreak

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Apple’s gadgets may delight consumers around the world, but for the workers who must assemble them, Apple products are torture.

Earlier this week, a 19-year-old man committed suicide by jumping off a building owned by Foxconn, where he worked. Foxconn is the largest electronics manufacturer in the world and responsible for building many of Apple’s (Stock Quote: AAPL) products, as well as products sold by Sony (Stock Quote: SNE), Dell (Stock Quote: DELL) and others.

This man was the 11th Foxconn employee to commit suicide and, according to The Telegraph, the company claims to have prevented another 20 suicide attempts this year alone. Even more unfortunately for Foxconn, this most recent death came just one day after the company admitted that they had a problem and are planning to bring in 2,000 therapists to treat employees.

Now, with worries about Foxconn’s workers reaching a fever pitch, the company is resorting to a desperate measure. Business Insider reports that Foxconn is “asking its employees to sign a pledge that they will not kill themselves.” Because if anything can prevent employees from getting depressed, it’s asking them to sign an anti-suicide pact.

The fact that these employees appear to be miserable can’t be directly blamed on Apple, though some have speculated the increasing number of suicides this year may be a result of extra pressure to churn out the iPad.

Instead, the manufacturer reportedly provides lousy housing and food and overworks employees. Yet, Fast Company notes that Foxconn’s suicide rate is on par with China’s overall suicide rate. Still, for Foxconn, as with any major company, any number of suicides is too many.

Still, this news can only add to Apple’s current woes. What started out as a promising year thanks to the release of the iPad has quickly turned sour. Their devices are being leaked left and right, and the company is now being investigated by the Justice Department for having too much power over the digital music market with its iTunes program. At the same time, the Justice Department is also looking into Apple’s hiring processes and the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the company over its refusal to let developers use flash to code.

Check out MainStreet’s article about other things Apple doesn’t want you to know.

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