In the United States, Apple routinely is ranked one of the best employers. But in China, Foxconn -- the principal manufacturer of Apple products -- has been accused of Dickensian conditions, which have led to a string of worker suicides. On Friday, a Foxconn worker reportedly was so upset about the prospect of job cuts that she jumped from a factory roof in Shenzhen, China, according to AppleInsider.
She survived the fall, AppleInsider reports, citing reports from Chinese blogs. Other employees reportedly were threatening to jump as well. Foxconn had earlier installed safety nets after several workers, despondent over working conditions and wages, had committed suicide. In 2011, the company also began forcing employees to sign a "no suicide" pledge.
Citing reports from Chinese news sources, AppleInsider said that Foxconn had been "encouraging" some employees to quit in an effort to cut costs. Foxconn, however, has denied that.
In recent years, Apple had begun pressuring Foxconn to improve conditions. CEO Tim Cook also had stepped up audits of its suppliers to ensure that no child labor was used and that workers weren't forced to put in more than 60 hours a week. As of December, conditions at Foxconn seemed to be improving, but other sites have reported that Foxconn has seen a decline in orders this year.