Writing Assignment 2, Option 1
In 2010, eighteen employees of the contract manufacturing giant Foxconn attempted suicide. The company is headquartered in Taiwan, but most of its factories are in China, where a larger and cheaper labor market is available. It is the largest manufacturer of Apple products, as well as products of many electronics companies. Studies cited poor treatment of employees such as long hours—including illegal overtime, failure to report accidents, and lack of working relationships. Foxconn factories have been decried as labor camps and its management style has been called “inhumane and abusive.”
The majority of the production line employees are young migrant workers, joining up when recruiters travel mostly to rural areas in search of inexpensive labor. This practice is not new. So why has such a radical event happened in recent years? Simply put, these workers are a new generation of young adults. China has modernized and westernized in the past decade, and these employees, even if not highly educated, are better educated than the previous generation of workers and so it is harder for them to deal with their menial jobs. They are forced to work seven-day weeks, with hours upon hours of repetitive assembly work. Their wages are so low that they cannot afford to buy the higher-end products that they make. They believe that hard work and/or higher education will change their lives, but they do not know what changes to make. In addition, while Foxconn has around one million employees, the majority being these factory workers, the nature of the occupation leaves little room for building relationships with coworkers.
In response to the suicides, Foxconn raised wages, installed suicide netting, and made employees sign a no-suicide agreement. What other CSR practices does Foxconn follow? More specifically, what CSR practices does Foxconn claim to follow? According to its CSR report, “[all] Foxconn hiring entities must follow equal...
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