2011/01/14

Foxconn engineer jumps to death in China: state media

SHANGHAI, January 14, 2011 (AFP) - A factory worker apparently jumped to her death after an incident at Taiwan's high-tech giant Foxconn, which has been plagued by a spate of suicides and labour problems, state media said Friday.

Taipei-based Foxconn said the 25-year-old engineer died last week after falling from her brother's home in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, where the firm runs a massive complex, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The unnamed employee, who had worked for Foxconn since 2005, had "been on sick leave" at the time of her death after factory officials rebuked her for an unspecified reason and said she would lose her job, Hong Kong media reported.

Foxconn was not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP.

Labour rights activists have blamed a string of suicides at Foxconn on tough working conditions, highlighting the difficulties millions of factory workers face across China.

At least 13 employees at Foxconn -- the world's largest maker of computer components, which produces goods for Apple, Sony and Nokia -- died in similar circumstances last year, the official Global Times reported.

Following a number of suicides, Foxconn raised wages by nearly 70 percent at its China plants.

The death was the latest in a series of incidents involving Foxconn to make headlines in China.

A female worker at a Foxconn plant in Beijing was stabbed to death this week by her boyfriend, who had been a colleague, the Beijing News reported on Thursday, citing police and employees.

On January 6, a fight erupted between two groups of workers at a complex with 22,000 employees in the southwestern city of Chengdu, leaving two injured, Xinhua reported.