Today I read an article over on Industry Week that troubled me for much of the day. Most of us have heard of all the recent issues coming out of China related to quality and safety. One of the major stories was related to the paint used on Mattel toys.
Many folks in the West use these stories to prove that outsourcing is not always the best way to go. Heck I have even made this comment myself from time to time. But the Industry Week story was not related to outsourcing. Instead it was all about suicide.
Zhang Shuhong, who ran the Lee Der Industrial, killed himself at a warehouse on Saturday; days after China announced it had temporarily banned exports by the company, the Southern Metropolis Daily said, as reported by cnn.com.
The fact this man, possibly a husband and father, took his life is troubling enough. But there is more.
CNN reported that the Chinese newspaper said that a supplier, Zhang’s best friend, sold Lee Der fake paint that was used in the toys. “The boss and the company were harmed by the paint supplier, the closest friend of our boss,” a manager surnamed Liu was quoted as saying.
So this man was apparently betrayed by his best friend. Who knows if this is true and many will probably get their darts ready saying how it is probably all lies.
Not me. It makes me very sad to think of this man’s friends and family. I’ll be praying for them and ask anyone who practices any type of faith to do the same. You see, some things (like human life) trump any discussion of lean or six sigma.