Report: Mass Suicide Threats At Xbox 360 Plant

On January 2, over 300 employees at a Foxconn plan in Wuhan, China, threatened to throw themselves off a building in a mass suicide. Foxconn makes Nintendo and Sony gaming consoles. These workers manufacture Xbox 360s. UPDATED.

According to Chinese anti-government website China Jasmine Revolution (via Watch China Times), the workers were protesting denied compensation they were promised.

On January 2, the workers asked for a raise. Foxconn told them they could either keep their jobs with no pay increase, or quit and get compensation. Most decided to quit with compensation. However, the agreement was supposedly terminated, and the workers never received their payments.

Website Record China reported that the uproar the incident actually caused Xbox 360 production to be temporarily suspended.

The mayor of Wuhan intervened to talk down the group down, and on January 3 at 9pm, the group of 300 decided not to jump, ending what could have been a deadly game of chicken.

Suicides at Foxconn made major news in 2010 when over a dozen employees committed suicide, leading to Foxconn installing suicide prevention nets at some of its facilities.

In 2010, Kotaku asked Microsoft about Foxconn and the reported abuses. Microsoft's Phil Spencer said at the time, "Foxconn has been an important partner of ours and remains an important partner. I trust them as a responsible company to continue to evolve their process and work relationships. That is something we remain committed to -- the safe and ethical treatment of people who build our products. That's a core value of our company."

Kotaku is following up with Microsoft over this latest incident.

UPDATE: A Microsoft spokeperson replied to Kotaku with the following comment on the situation at Foxconn:

Microsoft takes working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously, and we are currently investigating this issue. 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. Microsoft is committed to the fair treatment and safety of workers employed by our vendors, and to ensuring conformance with Microsoft policy.

Indignant workers threaten suicide at Foxconn park in Wuhan [Want China Times]

Top photo: China Jasmine Revolution/Kin Cheung/AP


Comments

    "Oh, don't worry, it's not that bad... see? We put nets around the building to catch the suicidal workers! No harm-no foul, right? Well, move along now... nothing to see here!"

    This.. after it took a non-journalist, non-authorised inspector to go in and ask real people, real questions and then come back and make a stand up monologue show out of it.

    One commentators response to the suicides was simply that the "22 people" who DID commit suicide prior to this event, was only a small portion of the entire Chinese population's suicide rate.. but the fact is.. they all happened at the Foxconn factory where over 430,000 people work very long, laborious hours.

    Disgusting that it takes this to expose what the electronics retailers (Microsoft, Dell, Apple etc) are really doing in China.

      The international Press have done a terrible job of reporting any of this. But it's the old story or people not wanting to know where their sausage comes from.

      You'd think certain US 'news networks', cough *fox* cough, would jump all over the chance to poo poo the Chinese and their industrial issues. But then again... Foxconn are job creators.

    Im happy to pay an extra 5c per console. That should cover the pay rises, yeah?

      Hell even an extra $10 in a lump of $300 wouldn't be noticeable to a lot of the western population. Problem is that $10 wouldn't find its way to a Chinese laborers pocket, just the boss'.

      Well one estimate I read that was if the Ipad was made in the good ol' U.S.A. it would cost over $14000.Still it's funny how the Bill Gates foundation has all these lofty goals of ending world hunger and diesese but it's all bankrolled by sweat shops and quasi slave labour.

        Yes, damn the long retired Bill Gates and his iPad!

          Huzar! He deffinetly made that product!

            Well obviouly Bill Gates/Micro-soft don't make the Ipad but Gates main revenue stream would still be MS shares.Surely you can see the irony of his charitable work if it's financed by dubious labor practices.

              Better than people like Steve Jobs who do stuff all for charity with the money they have.

                well in Steve's case that's "did"

    They've spent so much time making video game consoles they don't realize that thye won't respawn after they suicide!

      Yeah seriously man, too soon.

      - Aron

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