Foxconn's 11th: Death by exhaustion

June 4, 2010: 1:54 PM ET

An advocacy group claims the factory's latest workplace casualty followed a 34-hour shift

Foxconn workers. Photo: Device Magazine

Hong Kong-based SACOM (Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior) has added fresh details to another death -- the 11th this year -- among the 420,000 workers at Foxconn's massive factory complex in Shenzhen, China.

As we reported earlier this week (see Foxconn needs a better trade union), the family of the latest victim claims that this death came not by suicide, like the previous 10, but from the stress of being overworked.

SACOM has picked up the cause of Yan Li, 27, an engineer who started at Foxconn in April 2007. By the group's account, Yan clocked in for the night shift Tuesday May 25, worked 34 straight hours, and came home Thursday morning, where he collapsed and died from exhaustion. According to his wife, Yan had been on the night shift for a month and had worked overtime every night.

Earlier this week, Foxconn issued this statement: "We have reviewed this matter and while we cannot speculate the specific cause of death, we have found nothing to support any allegation that it was work-related."

Still, SACOM holds Foxconn and its U.S. clients -- among them Apple (AAPL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and Dell (DELL) -- responsible for all the deaths, including the 10 suicides:


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