Foxconn, the Chinese company that manufactures Apple’s iPhone has had over a dozen suicides either on its premises or from the homes of workers. The why of this is still being investigated, but so far it’s chalked up to high-pressure, low wages. As a result of this, Silicon Valley Watcher’s Tom Foremski asks whether it’s time for a “Fair Trade” iPhone
Foxconn’s Taiwanese parent company Hon Hai has promised a 20% raise to all 420,000 employees, but says that this has nothing to do with the suicides and does not address the reportedly sweatshop-like work conditions at Foxconn. Foxconn had been playing Buddhist music, presumably to soothe workers, and apparently went as far as sending a letter to employees asking them not to kill themselves, which they retracted. In addition to manufacturing iPhones for Apple, it produces devices and components for Dell and HP.