Two worker deaths at iPhone maker in two days

Speculation over working conditions at the company has mounted after two workers died in unrelated incidents

Two workers at a factory in China which produces iPhones have died in unrelated incidents within two days of each other, it has been reported.

Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer that is used by Apple and Samsung, announced that a male employee was found dead outside one of its production line buildings in Zhengzhou on Thursday, and a female employee died in a train accident on her way to work the following day, an International Business Times report said.

The company, which employs 1.3m workers during peak times, has been in the spotlight in the past over working conditions following a number of employee suicides, and is now under investigation over the latest deaths.

In 2010, the manufacturer received heavy criticism after it was alleged that intensely pressurised working conditions led to more than a dozen suicides, according to the IB Times.

A Wall Street Journal report alleged that the worker that died in Zhengzhou on Thursday had leapt from the roof of a Foxconn production building, and the second worker, who died on Friday, scaled a fence to cross the railway tracks in an attempt to get to work.

In response to the incident, Foxconn released a statement on Monday in which it addressed the conditions in China: “Our efforts are ongoing and we are determined to do whatever we can to anticipate the changing needs of our large workforce in China,” it said. 

Apple released a statement in which it described employee conditions as "monitored".

It said: "Facilities in Zhengzhou and throughout our supply chain offer employee assistance programmes, designed in conjunction with Apple and available to every worker, to provide access to social services and counsellors whenever needed.

"We constantly monitor working conditions to ensure that they meet our strict standards, and we will investigate the incidents in Zhengzhou." 

Foxconn says it is cooperating with authorities regarding the incidents.

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