Foxconn worker plunges to death at China plant: report

HONG KONG Fri Nov 5, 2010 6:05am EDT

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Another worker has committed suicide at the south China manufacturing complex of iPhone maker Foxconn International Holdings Ltd, state media reported on Friday, the latest in a string of employees who have leapt to their deaths this year.

The employee "fell to death" early on Friday at one of Foxconn's manufacturing facilities in the southern Chinese manufacturing hub of Shenzhen, Xinhua News Agency reported.

"The death was confirmed by the municipal government. No further information was immediately available," Xinhua said.

A Foxconn spokesman was not available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

Neither Shenzhen's municipal government nor local police had any immediate comment or further details.

Labour rights groups say there have been at least 13 suicides at Foxconn factories across China this year, not including Friday's fatality.

The incident comes months after several Foxconn workers, mostly in Shenzhen, died after jumping from buildings in the company's plants earlier this year.

Many of those were young migrant workers, among the millions who leave the poor hinterlands of China for the booming factory towns of coastal areas in search of work and higher wages.

The deaths threw an awkward spotlight on the labor practices of Foxconn, a unit of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, whose clients include Apple Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and Sony Ericsson.

Since then, the company has pledged to improve work conditions, increase pay, reduce overtime hours and build a string of giant new manufacturing complexes in inland provinces such as Henan to allow workers to live closer to home, and tap cheaper labor costs.

(Reporting by James Pomfret, Huang Yan and Kelvin Soh; Editing by Chris Lewis and Daniel Magnowski)

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