Foxconn Forces Employees to Sign No Suicide Pact

Perhaps one of the biggest knocks on Apple's products is the condition some of its workers are forced to operate under.

The Chinese factory that builds Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod has become notorious for depressed employees committing suicide.

In 2010, 14 Foxconn employees tried to commit suicide. Apple, and other companies like HP and Dell who do business with the factory, began to look into the working conditions.

Stories of employees working too many hours and the notorious case of a Foxconn worker who reportedly killed himself after losing an iPhone prototype.

Apple began to take action, including flying COO Tim Cook out to observe the working conditions first hand.

Foxconn installed suicide nets and instituted a crisis line.

But now the company is going even further. Foxconn is reportedly forcing employees to sign a pledge, promising that they will not commit suicide.

The new policy comes on the heels of a study conducted in March and April 2011 by labor group Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour.

The group interviewed more than 100 Foxconn employees about working conditions in the factory. The survey found staff was working overtime beyond China's legal limits, that dormitories felt like "prison blocks" and some employees were working back-to-back shifts.

If employees still do take their lives, the letter promises that Foxconn will provide "reasonable pension" for the death.

A full translation of the letter is available at Shanghaiist.

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