This. Is. Sad. 23 year old Foxconn employee Chen Long died on June 25th after a continuous 60-hour working week. Here’s the story:
Chen Long, a healthy 23 year old boy from a village in Hubei province, joined Foxconn in August 2010 to work on the assembly line at Hon Hai Group’s Foxconn plant in Shenzhen. Chen is a hardworking guy, and his mind is full of hopes. He is the only child in his family, and he needs to take care his grandparents, and at the same time, saving money to cure both of his parents’ sickness. If Chen has a low salary, he will still save up a portion of it for his family.
Working in Foxconn, Chen clearly knows the overtime policies every employee must obey, and he needs to work overtime every day. He is sick of his job, and he always feel that he is too tired to work overtime. Chen’s parents have heard about the suicides happening at Foxconn, they are worried and they tried to tell their son to quit the job. However, Chen said:
“Why would I want to die when I see my family and friends love me so much?”
Chen then told his parents that he needs to work an additional 2 hours everyday, working from 7am to 7pm during the weekdays. Moreover, Chen needs to work an additional 10 hours on Saturday, and has a day-off on Sunday. Foxconn has not assigned overtime working for Chen during April and May this year, so Chen has been working for more than 60 hours per week for 9 months since the day he joined Foxconn. Last year September, there’s one day Chen fainted on the street due to exhaustion. His parents were worried, and here’s what Chen said:
“Don’t worry, I’m just too tired. Everything will be fine after a rest.”
On June 24th, the day before Chen’s death, everything is normal. Chen got off work at 7pm, and went home for dinner. After having his meal, he went out with his girlfriend for some fun at the Internet bar, until 11pm. Chen got back back home for a sleep after the date. Next day, June 25th, Chen woke up at 11am, feeling dizzy and has no appetite. He reluctantly have a meal that includes instant noodle, chicken feet and fruity flavored milk. He only had a few sips of those food. Chen then felt strengthless and sat at home watching the television. At 5pm, the weather is hot and Chen went to the bathroom for a shower. After two minutes, Chen falls to the ground unconscious. His girlfriend quickly called the ambulance, and when the doctor arrived, Chen is confirmed to be dead.
Chen’s parents were deeply sad about their son’s death, and they have made the following requests to Foxconn: (machine translation, read original Chinese here)
And here’s what Foxconn answered:
Chen’s parents were not satisfied with Foxconn’s answers, and Chen’s mum was always trying to negotiate with Foxconn to get a better compensation. Chen’s mum cried a lot, and always faint when she tried to beg the representatives of Foxconn. Looking at the pathetic situation of Chen’s family, Foxconn finally offered a better compensation, 4 standard rooms and a daily compensation of 300 yuan for 17 members of Chen’s family (including relatives).
Chen’s death is a tragedy, died of exhaustion after a continuous 60-hour working week. As we know, according to China’s labor law, a worker’s daily work hours should not exceed 8 hours, and weekly work hours should not exceed 44 hours. We’re not sure if Chen knows about the country’s labor law, but if he knows it, we think he will still do his job to earn money to take care his grandparents and parents. We feel sad for Chen’s death, and we can’t imagine how the Macintosh software team members worked 90 hours a week in the 1980s.
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