LONDON In response to Bolaji Ojo's opinion piece
about Foxconn I would like to stress that the situation in China is complex and the unfortunate suicide victims must each have had their own circumstances; their own personal stories often unrelated to pay issues and suicide rates.
For example: the suicide rate at Foxconn may be low compared to the Chinese national average; it is hard for us to tell. It is probable that many people like working for Foxconn, like the wages; and may like getting away from their family environments. And indeed many dutiful sons and daughters may be happy to send part of their wage packet home to their parents.
BUT it is inevitable that some are not happy:
For example: what do you do if you feel you are being bullied in the workpace AND in the dormitory? In these all encompassing environments how do you escape?
What do you do if you are being bullied or just find the work unsatisfying but your parents need the money you send home and are begging you not to quit?
What do you do if you find you are pregnant and worried that you may not be able to carry on working, despite the fact your family have come to rely on your wage?
These are all hypothetical questions but even if this was the most rewarding work in the world, the sheer scale of the employment and the claustrophobic nature of doing everything through your employer is going to get to some people. And doing everything through your employer can include going to the company movies with a boyfriend/girlfriend and booking the department canteen for your wedding reception.