Foxconn, which makes products for many of the world’s largest electronics companies, including Apple, Sony, Nintendo and HP, has faced widespread criticism from labor groups in recent years in regards to its strict work methods – thought to be the cause of a string of suicides over recent years. An official explanation about this latest incident has not yet been made available.
The death on Tuesday involved an employee falling from the sixth floor of a factory dormitory, Reuters reports.
According to Focus Taiwan, Foxconn vice president Terry Cheng believes the death could not have been the result of pressure from long working hours. “The employee is still under a training program and has just worked overtime for only two hours during the past 20 days, so we think it is irrelevant to working pressure,” he said. In June last year, an employee died from exhaustion following a reported 34-hour shift for the company.
Suggesting that the death may have been the result of a tragic accident, he added: “Prior to the accident, the employee had dined with 20 to 30 other colleagues, and they were likely drunk after the gathering.”
In May it was reported that Foxconn was ordering employees to sign a “no suicide” contract in response to the deaths of 14 employees over the last couple of years. Four years ago, an employee killed himself after losing an iPhone 4 prototype in his care.
Foxconn, which employs more than a million people, says it has changed its management policies, increased wages and improved working conditions in an effort to reduce the number of suicides at the company.