Foxconn Worker Suicide Raises Questions

Just a week after a riot broke out at Foxconn’s Chengdu plant over unknown labor issues, a worker at the same plant has leapt to his death from the roof of a company apartment building. To complicate the situation, there are also reports that Chinese authorities may be taking steps to cover up the incident.

According to a report this morning from Reuters, the worker was 23 years old. His suicide is the first at the company since Apple and Foxconn announced efforts to improve working conditions at the manufacturing company’s plants back in May.

Foxconn Worker Suicide

It is not known why the young worker – apparently named Xie – committed suicide, but a report from MIC Gadget says that Chinese authorities may have taken steps to hush the incident up. According to the report, authorities pressured eyewitness to delete any photos or videos they had taken of Xie’s death. Despite the pressure, however, some images leaked out via Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like micro-blogging social network. In the image above, you can see the young man at the top of the building, clearly outlined against the sky. The second image, below, appears to capture him in the same position, but is more difficult to make out. If you look closely, you can see his legs dangling over the edge of the roof.

Foxconn Worker Suicide

Again, the reasons for the young man’s suicide are not known. While it is possible that the incident is connected to last week’s riot or to working conditions inside Foxconn, nothing is certain at this point.

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