Foxconn Chairman Likens Employees To Animals, Solicits Advice From Zoo Keeper

Brad Chacos

By all accounts working for Foxconn -- the China-based company that does the actual manufacturing of a lot of consumer electronics, including the Xbox 360 and the various iProducts -- is a horrible drag. Not only is there the threat of massive explosions , but the combination of long hours and low pay have led to a rash of suicides amongst its workers, highlighted by the threat of a mass suicide last week . Why aren't things getting better? The chairman of Foxconn's parent company may have dropped a hint when he likened his workers to animals.

ReadWriteWeb pointed us towards the Want China Times , who reports Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou as saying at a year-end party: "Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million worldwide and as human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache." He then quipped that he wanted to hit up the director of the Taipei Zoo for tips on how to handle the herd.

What, that isn't offensive enough for you? It gets better/worse: Gou actually tapped Zoo director Chin Shih-chien to give a presentation at Hon Hai's annual review. The WCT says Shih-chien "(shared) his experience with the audience on how to manage different animals according to their individual temperaments" while Gou continued to crack jokes about his work force.

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