Foxconn pays off family over iPhone worker suicide

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has agreed to pay compensation to the family of a worker who committed suicide after being interrogated over a missing handset prototype.

The Taiwan-owned firm will pay Sun Danyong's parents a lump sum of 360,000 yuan plus another 30,000 yuan per year as long as they live, the New York Times said.

Sun committed suicide last week after he found himself the prime suspect in the disappearance of a prototype iPhone two weeks ago.

He had complained of mistreatment by Foxconn's security division, alleging he had been beaten. Foxconn said it had suspended one security officer pending an investigation.

The security officer denied he had mistreated Sun, but admitted to getting “a little angry” and grabbing him on the shoulder, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

“We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death,” Apple said in a statement. “We require that our suppliers treat all workers with dignity and respect.”

Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, has defended its working conditions. But labor group China Labor Watch (CLW) said the tragedy demonstrates “Foxconn's inhumane and militant management system, which lacks fundamental respect for workers' rights.”

CLW previously published a report detailing working conditions at Foxconn. “One worker described working at Foxconn as 'dehumanizing',” CLW said.

“In the wake of Sun Danyong's death, other Foxconn workers have spoken out about violence at the factory including beatings with iron bars and whips,” the group added.