Embattled Taiwanese electronics firm Foxconn will no longer require staff to sign a letter promising not to commit suicide.
In a day of drama at the company’s Shenzhen plant, chairman and CEO Terry Gou fronted a packed press conference, where he apologized to staff over the recent spate of suicides.
Eleven young workers have jumped to their deaths at the sprawling facility since January, including three in the past week.
It is one of the world’s biggest factories, with 300,000 people assembling products for Apple, HP and other hi-tech firms.
Gou told journalists he was not personally aware of an agreement the company had asked workers to sign, asking them to promise not to “harm themselves or co-workers in an extreme way,” National Buisness Daily reported.
The contract also waives the rights of their families to seek compensation if they take their own lives, and allows the company to send them to a medical institution if they appeared to be in an "abnormal mental or physical state.”
Gou said he was not sure if the contract had been produced by the company union or the human resources department, but admitted that “the manner in which it requires workers to sign is not something that any person could accept.”
The series of suicides at the plant where the iPhone is assembled has received intense media coverage in China and around the world.
Labor activists in Hong Kong staged a protest at the Foxconn office in the city and called for a boycott of the next iPhone, Bloomberg reported.