300 Chinese workers threaten suicide at Xbox 360 factory

In an uncomfortable reminder of exactly how and why manufacturers of complicated electronic products enjoy such huge profit margins, here is a story which brings the word ‘suicide’ into the world of console manufacturing – again. If the word ‘Foxconn’ means anything to you at all, it will almost certainly be due to reports of workers on the Chinese company’s manufacturing lines committing suicide. This latest story, thankfully, did not result in any deaths.

On January 2nd, as reported at Kotaku, three hundred employees stood on the roof of the Foxconn Xbox 360 manufacturing plant in Wuhan, threatening to jump to their deaths. The workers had asked for a raise; the factory’s response was to tell them to keep their jobs at the same pay rate, or leave with compensation. The majority chose to leave; but when their bosses reneged on the deal and refused to hand out compensation of any kind, the rooftop protest began. After intervention from the mayor of Wuhan, the group finally came down, unharmed, the evening of the following day. Microsoft issued this statement to Kotaku regarding the latest incident:

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.”

Foxconn’s Wikipedia entry includes a fairly brief but fully supported list of the best known criticisms and fatal incidents. Foxconn  (which has been forced to install anti-suicide nets at multiple sites) also manufactures the Wii, the PlayStation 3, the iPhone, the Kindle, motherboards, and much more.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

One comment

  1. Rosscoe Monroe lol /

    Wow! You know you’re doing something wrong as an employer when you gotta stick safety nets around your buildings to catch suicidal workers!

    Still, business is business eh!

Leave a Reply