Two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Hong Kong and the Netherlands issued a joint investigation report on Wednesday November 14. The report investigated 167 suicides and attempted suicide incidents in China. The results showed that the suicide rate is extremely high among Chinese workers in the high-tech electronics industry as they were struggling due to a fast-paced environment, fear of losing their job, and worries about being punished.
The report lists the main reasons for suicide, including pressure from their superiors, unfair punishment, denial of bonuses, and the fear of losing their jobs.
The frequent suicides in the Chinese electronics industry highlight the lack of independent workers unions to speak for the employees.
China’s electronics industry employs tens of millions of migrant workers. Non-governmental organizations often condemn employers for violating labor laws. In October, the Apple Group launched an investigation into a supplier in China, which was accused of hiring students and forcing them to assemble smart watches as if they were robots.
According to a survey that the Dutch NGO Electronics Watch released in 2016, Chinese workers in the electronics industry often work more than 80 hours a week, almost double the 44-hour working week that the law stipulates.
Source: Radio France International, November 14, 2018