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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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Cleaning manager hangs himself at Heathrow over job security fears


The manager of a cleaning sub-contractor for the major airlines hung himself at Heathrow Airport over fears about the security of his job.

Keith Stone, who was 50 years old, was found hanging from a de-icing vehicle at Terminal 5 in full view of passengers taking off and landing. According to the Sun, the father of three was devastated after apparently being told that he might have to re-apply for his job as operations manager with Aircraft Service International Group.
A colleague told the newspaper: “Keith was told about the threat to his job two weeks before Christmas. He wrestled with anxiety throughout the festive season. The prospect of financial woes proved too much.”
Stone emailed his bosses to tell them what he thought of them last Wednesday, before going outside and hanging himself, the colleague added.
A spokesman for ASIG said: “Keith’s commitment, professionalism and good humour will be sorely missed.”
Mass suicide
The news came to light as 300 staff at a Chinese factory that builds Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console threatened to commit mass suicide if their wage demands were not met.
According to the Daily Mail, employees in Wuhan, China, who work for electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group, claim that the company failed to hand over promised wages.
A row broke out on 2 January following demands for a pay rise for 100 members of staff. But managers at Foxconn, which manufactures products for high tech vendors ranging from Apple to Dell, responded with an ultimatum.
It said that personnel had the choice of either quitting with one month’s compensation for each year they had worked at the plant or of going back to work. A number of staff resigned, but Foxconn allegedly failed to honour its side of the bargain and no money was reportedly handed out.
About 300 workers returned to the site and staged a protest on the plant’s roof on 3 January. After hours of negotiations, Wuhan’s mayor intervened and they agreed to return to work.
Foxconn did not respond to calls from the newspaper, but a spokesman for Microsoft told CBS that it took working conditions in the factories that manufactured its products very seriously and was currently investigating the matter.
“We have a stringent vendor code of conduct that spells out our expectations, and we monitor working conditions closely on an ongoing basis and address issues as they emerge,” he said. “Microsoft is committed to the fair treatment and safety of workers employed by our vendors, and to ensuring conformance with Microsoft policy.”
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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