May 26, 2010 08:37 PM

Foxconn's Gou Denies Knowledge of 'No-Suicide Contract'

(Beijing) - Evidence that Foxconn, the high-tech manufacturing giant, coerced workers into signing a "no-suicide contract" was leaked by Foxconn factory workers and distributed via the internet on May 25. One day later, company president Terry Gou told media that the agreements were to be considered invalid.

Foxconn workers said they received two company memorandums from Foxconn Group after the latest suicide case on May 25 and were asked to sign an agreement stating that they did not intend to commit suicide.

Foxconn workers in Shenzhen reported that the first company memorandum detailed protocols in the event of a suicide. According to the memo, employees and their family members will be barred from making any claims against the company.

The memo went on to say that Foxconn workers will be provided with a suicide prevention hotline. Foxconn employees said they were required to sign the agreement.

The second memorandum was addressed from Foxconn President Terry Gou, which stated Foxconn would continue to improve factory operations.

However, during a media tour of the Shenzhen factory grounds on May 26, Gou told reporters that he was not aware of the "no-suicide contract" and said they were invalid.

According to Xinhua News Agency, Gou denied claims that Foxconn is a "sweatshop" for its factory workers, in his first public comments after a string of suicides by the company's employees. Foxconn is owned by Taiwan's Hong Hai Precision Industry.

The Shenzhen public security bureau confirmed that 19-year-old male Foxconn worker Li Hai committed suicide by jumping from the 5th floor of his dormitory at the Foxconn compound in Shenzhen on May 25. Police found Li's last letter to his family.

It was the ninth suicide at the company, adding to an additional two workers seriously injured in attempted suicides, in less than a year.

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