Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been feeling a lot of pressure from various directions in terms of its supply chain and how products are produced. It has been working closely with its top manufacturing partner, Foxconn, in making sure that working conditions are improved at Foxconn’s several plants in China – including the plaint in Zhengzhou that was dedicated to making the iPhone.
Apple has been diligent in recent years in having regular audit conduced of Foxconn plants, ensuring that policies were put in place to ensure better working conditions and better hours and some benefits for the workers, who have often been subjected to very long workdays, plus charges of child laborers under a certain age, as well as paltry wages – even by China standards. One Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) report from a couple of years ago – about 12 pages long – had a section in it dedicated to worker suicides after there were 25 reported suicide attempts by Foxconn workers in 2010. At the time, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had recommended large nets be placed along the side of some buildings.
Perhaps the suicide aspect of Foxconn working conditions will be part of a new audit by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the coming weeks, after a news report surfaced that two Foxconn workers at the Zhengzhou iPhone plant committed suicide on the Foxconn campus over the last few days.
Reports are that a 24-year-old man jumped off a dormitory building last Wednesday, and a 23-year-old woman died from a jump this past Saturday. Stress and workplace pressure to produce iPhone devices were seen as possible motivators to the suicides, especially in the wake of reports that estimated that 5 million to 8 million iPhone 5 devices were sent back to Foxconn due to faulty workmanship.
What are your thoughts about this story? How much control and responsibility should Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) bear in regards to workplace conditions and worker safety involving Apple partners? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.