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Foxconn Forces Employees to Sign No Suicide Pact

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    SHENZHEN, CHINA - NOVEMBER 28: Workers put up scaffolding on a building owned by the contract manufacturer Foxconn International Holdings Ltd on November 28, 2010 in Shenzhen, China. According to the US Commercial Service, Shenzhen is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Home of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the headquarters of numerous technology companies, the now bustling former fishing village is considered southern China's major financial centre. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

    Perhaps one of the biggest knocks on Apple's products is the condition some of its workers are forced to operate under.

    The Chinese factory that builds Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod has become notorious for depressed employees committing suicide.

    In 2010, 14 Foxconn employees tried to commit suicide. Apple, and other companies like HP and Dell who do business with the factory, began to look into the working conditions.

    Stories of employees working too many hours and the notorious case of a Foxconn worker who reportedly killed himself after losing an iPhone prototype.

    Apple began to take action, including flying COO Tim Cook out to observe the working conditions first hand.

    Foxconn installed suicide nets and instituted a crisis line.

    But now the company is going even further. Foxconn is reportedly forcing employees to sign a pledge, promising that they will not commit suicide.

    The new policy comes on the heels of a study conducted in March and April 2011 by labor group Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour.

    The group interviewed more than 100 Foxconn employees about working conditions in the factory. The survey found staff was working overtime beyond China's legal limits, that dormitories felt like "prison blocks" and some employees were working back-to-back shifts.

    If employees still do take their lives, the letter promises that Foxconn will provide "reasonable pension" for the death.

    A full translation of the letter is available at Shanghaiist.