A woman working at Foxconn Electronics reportedly jumped off a factory rooftop in Longhua Park, after learning that employees were being forced to leave the company in an effort to cut costs. The reason is said to be reduced orders from partnering companies, such as Apple.
China’s People's Daily Online reports that a woman jumped from the rooftop of Foxconn Longhua Park Building G14 at 9:00 AM on Friday, with three others threatening to throw themselves as well.
The woman reportedly survived, but there is no news about the other three workers who threatened to follow suit.
A rough translation of the report states, “The reasons for jumping off a building, what is it? Is said to Foxconn because of reduced orders, with a variety of ways for employees to leave, sparking everyone's discontent.”
Although Foxconn has denied such allegations, it has been reported that Apple had been steadily reducing some of its orders with the manufacturing giant, resulting in lower sales estimates for the iPhone and the iPad.
Apple itself will deny such news and, if pressed to comment on the situation at its Chinese suppliers, will most likely point you to the Supplier Responsibility report which gets regular updates on how well things are going.
The truth is obviously somewhere in the middle. A handful of employees doesn’t constitute the consensus of opinion among workers assembling iPhones and iPads, while the employers (Foxconn, Apple) will naturally have their own version of the story.
It’s just as possible that other Foxconn partners are behind the order cuts (as well). Foxconn is also known to be doing business with dozens of other computer / electronics vendors, including Asustek, IBM, Lenovo, Logitech, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Toshiba, and others.
Any one of these companies can be responsible for the bad news, and the bad news might not even be fully accurate. So, for our part, let’s not “jump” to any conclusions.
Update: Foxconn has released a statement saying no one jumped on Friday. The stories are bogus, according to the electronics manufacturer.