There’s a saying that goes something like this: “Don’t kick a man when he’s down.” Foxconn workers are known to endure long hours and low wage, so what else can a company like Foxconn ask for from its employees?
(Zhang Tingzhen with family/friends)
A 26-year old man named Zhang Tingzhen was hurt on the job while at Foxconn last October that led to the removal of half of his brain. Despite such a tragic incident, Foxconn is reportedly telling the man to leave the hospital even though doctors are against it.
The surgery left Zhang with not much else besides his dignity. Zhang lost his memory in addition to the other life changing disabilities such as the inability to talk or walk.
Foxconn has been bugging Zhang’s family via text messages to discharge him from the hospital, and if Zhang’s family doesn’t comply, Foxconn will terminate his medical benefits. According to Foxconn, their notices to Zhang’s family are perfectly legal, because for Zhang to continue to receive his medical benefits he has to make a 43 mile trip to get a disability assessment.
The compromise seems simple enough, but Zhang’s doctor is not confident that he’ll be able to reach his destination without developing more problems, as Zhang is risking hemorrhage if he does follow through with the 43-mile journey.
This is quite the sob story, but what’s even more twisted is that there’s a local law stating that injured workers can receive up to two years of hospital care before the disability assessment requirement kicks in. Zhang has been in the hospital for only about a year.
Tragic accidents as well as suicides within the confines of Foxconn facilities have led many worker’s rights and labor organizations to criticize Foxconn for its inhumane treatment of employees. Just a few weeks ago, a Foxconn riot involving thousands of workers made global headlines.
How many more tragic cases must Foxconn experience before any real reforms are put in place?