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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 02:34pm 11/01/12 | 32 Comments
Following a pay dispute at Foxconn manufacturing plant, located in Wuhan, China, some 300 Xbox 360 assembly line workers allegedly threatened to throw themselves off of the building's roof after being denied a pay rise.

WantChina Times, as spotted by Kotaku (thanks Eurogamer) reports that the workers were offered to remain at their positions with their current wage, or to leave with wage compensation. The majority of workers allegedly chose compensation, however, management then denied said compensation and in protest the workers climbed the roof of the manufacturing plant and threatened to jump off. According to the report, the mayor of Wuhan actually stepped in and helped talk the workers down.

Microsoft recently responded to the report, stating that they take "working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously", and that they 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," added a spokesperson. "Microsoft is committed to the fair treatment and safety of workers employed by our vendors, and to ensuring conformance with Microsoft policy."

Eurogamer points out that this isn't the only time Foxconn has had suicidal issues with its employees, prompting the firm to install nets on the sides of its building following a number of jump attempts by employees in 2010.



microsoftxbox 360chinamass suicide





Latest Comments
Outlaw
Posted 02:41pm 11/1/12
haha, that is awesome.

Suicides at Foxconn plants resulted in the deaths of 14 workers in 2010

so theyre installing nets so you can't suicide jump? f*** yeah
eski
Posted 02:46pm 11/1/12
Its easy to get angry at apple and MS when you hear stories like this, but really it's on all of us. I don't know many people who got upset about this who actually stopped buying tech products. It'd be pretty hard to get by without buying anything that was made by Foxconn...
The GuVna
Posted 02:49pm 11/1/12
Glad they didn't jump, that would have been one large Red Ring Of Death........
The GuVna
Posted 02:52pm 11/1/12
link



YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Pinky
Posted 03:17pm 11/1/12
Very bad. I tried to find out their working conditions. Best I could get was that an iPhone is about 2 months salary and they work 12 hour days without a lot of freedom (not allowed to talk, often no break). That article says they are not allowed to sit down but a previous Wired article has a photo where workers are clearly seated.

Outlaw
Posted 03:18pm 11/1/12
redball overlord?
Nerfy
Posted 03:20pm 11/1/12
I don't know many people who got upset about this who actually stopped buying tech products. It'd be pretty hard to get by without buying anything that was made by Foxconn...

That'd probably make it even worse, because then they wouldn't have jobs... (Unless the companies raised working conditions to get people buying in response, possibly requiring people to be willing/able to pay the extra cost)
Ickus
Posted 04:38pm 11/1/12
Let 'em jump, plenty more where they came from.

Which is pretty much the key point for all ultra low pay employees... you are cheap and easy to replace.
Nerfy
Posted 04:51pm 11/1/12
The empathy and understanding of their situation is just flowing out of you ickus.
Mosfx
Posted 05:24pm 11/1/12
Thought robots did this sort of thing now?
Tetsuo
Posted 05:33pm 11/1/12
Robots cost money. Retarded farmers turned factory workers (Western world did that s*** circa 1800s) are cheap, replaceable and many of them in china.

IMO if you ever threaten suicide to gain something, either do it or piss off. Teaspoon of cement anyone?
fpot
Posted 05:36pm 11/1/12
It's their job to build and maintain those robots.

edit: what's with all the try hard "heh f*** them have some cement/just kill yourself " posts? You do realise posts like this just make you look really dumb right and not edgy at all?

last edited by fpot at 17:36:29 11/Jan/12
Pharcyde
Posted 05:51pm 11/1/12
Teaspoon of cement anyone?


lol f***en yea bro fully aye
spoon
Posted 07:46pm 11/1/12
f*****g oath c*** better to have em jumping than trying to float their dodgy boats to our shore!!!111
kos
Posted 08:29pm 11/1/12
I just plain don't like black people.
Tetsuo
Posted 08:35pm 11/1/12
Yes i said my piece thinking to troll or be edgy. My view is my view. If you think its because i am racist, well id say it to a white person. Just. My. 2. Cents.

Last i checked i was allowed to voice that.
dranged
Posted 08:35pm 11/1/12
Just finish up my Xbox anniversary 3rd strike super championship edition first mmmkay
Whoop
Posted 08:50pm 11/1/12
Its easy to get angry at apple and MS when you hear stories like this, but really it's on all of us. I don't know many people who got upset about this who actually stopped buying tech products. It'd be pretty hard to get by without buying anything that was made by Foxconn...


It's not really on us though when there's absolutely no choice. I try and avoid buying chinese s*** when I can but seriously, almost EVERYTHING is made there now because it's just so cheap.
fpot
Posted 08:51pm 11/1/12
Yes i said my piece thinking to troll or be edgy. My view is my view. If you think its because i am racist
Just to keep my Simpsons theme posting up... "I don't see what that has to do with groundskeeper Willy".

I don't think it is because your racist. But to try and address a complex and real problem like this China situation thing with something like 'huuurrr take some cement and harden up' just makes you look like a dumb boorish c***.

And you aren't fooling anyone with that it's just my opinion plz let me express it s***. You were just trying to be 'the internet edgy guy' because you probably never get an chance to do it irl.
Whoop
Posted 08:58pm 11/1/12
oh yeah and what's the point of threatening someone who won't pay you, with suicide? Anyone else here see the irony?

Won't pay me, jump off a building

wait, they still won't have to pay me.
Nerfy
Posted 09:11pm 11/1/12
It makes the management look worse than they perhaps can afford to be. Brought attention to their situation at least.
Shaexen
Posted 11:54pm 11/1/12
I get that they are low paid workers, but wouldn't it be more a successful approach to make these low paid workers like there jobs. I mean little incentives and rewards that would cost a multi-billion dollar company a negligible amount but make a whole lot of difference to these people.

In return for some pocket change, you get a happy and motivated workforce who want to work for you and no PR disasters that just seem to happen time and time again.
Fixah
Posted 12:11am 12/1/12
I get that they are low paid workers, but wouldn't it be more a successful approach to make these low paid workers like there jobs. I mean little incentives and rewards that would cost a multi-billion dollar company a negligible amount but make a whole lot of difference to these people.

In return for some pocket change, you get a happy and motivated workforce who want to work for you and no PR disasters that just seem to happen time and time again.
This is China we're talking about, not Google Headquarters in California.
deadlyf
Posted 12:16am 12/1/12
Last i checked i was allowed to voice that.
You're allowed to do a whole lot of s*** that makes you look stupid.
Pinky
Posted 12:30am 12/1/12
This is China we're talking about, not Google Headquarters in California.

Unfortunately, basically this.

Ultimately in my opinion it is essentially a product of over-population. You have a billion people who want jobs - what are you going to do? You have to spread the wealth. It's not really a surprise that they live with the conditions they do.

It's very unfortunate, and I would hate to have been born into their shoes. We just need to continually try to improve the quality of life of all people (and I don't mean everyone should have an xbox - I mean, the basics, work less, earn more, survive easily).

EDIT: lol @ deadlyf, well said.
skythra
Posted 12:49am 12/1/12
Yes i said my piece thinking to troll or be edgy. My view is my view. If you think its because i am racist, well id say it to a white person. Just. My. 2. Cents.Last i checked i was allowed to voice that.

Their options in life:
Starve their parents, brothers and sisters as they're the only one's who could find a job, while they have a job they have to live on site, their free time is only a few hours a week (i'm talking like 3) to buy 'fancy' things like maybe some food for the people at home or to write a letter.

They live in dorms on site for months on end, their bed time is mandated by the company, if they're late, they're fired and replaced.

They get recuruited from school, but then miss their school when they start work. They start their job often because their family has been fired for various reasons like, failing to stay awake on 18 hour no break shifts (once) and being tardy to work (once).

When they're "lucky enough" to get recruited they get pay which barely affords rice for the family but generous company almighty will offer them some gruel and rice.

If they ever leave, there's no chance of getting work because unemployment is massively high and recruitment for work happens at a school level: once you've left school it's pretty hard to get back into employment. You have to take the job while still school age or fear unemployment as your future hoping your siblings get employed and send money home.

So yeah, threatening with suicide isn't a threat, they die from suicide all the time because they simply can't take it and there's no way out. Sure it's dozens from foxxcon but its hundreds and thousands of worker suicides each year from similar manufactuers.

Also when you're working, the companies have bried "health and safety officials" which were introduced only half a decade ago at a government level, the bribes are to be alerted for when the officials are to spot inspect plants. The company hires busses and moves most people offsite except the few trained people. By trained they mean trained in answering questions like
"Do you like this job?" The trained response is "Yes this is better than other jobs i've had".

They then bus the workers back after the inspection is over. They don't bus them to a park or anything, they stay on the bus until the inspection is over.

PS i researched all this ages ago when i was defending wow gold farmers. Because that was a far much better job for chinese people to do than either farming real food, or working at a factory.

Basically the only humanitarian thing wow did was essentially give a few hundred people hope that they could earn a living by sitting down playing videogames but they took it away. Besides i guess glide and all those ended up taking over real folk nowdays.
slamma
Posted 02:07am 12/1/12
China might be the worlds next biggest superpower,but they'll be living in the worlds biggest rubbish tip.
kr0wb4r
Posted 04:22am 12/1/12
Unfortunately it may require a large number like that to actually do it before anything really gets changed.

Foxconn workers have been suiciding for ages. Instead of addressing the causes, they just put nets around their buildings now in hope of deterring them.

Seriously f*** working in a place like that man. I'd turn to crime before I worked in a sweat shop.
qmass
Posted 04:50am 12/1/12
Too depressing for internet irony - http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/454/mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory

Some of them [the workers] are in groups. There's a group that's talking about hexane. N-hexane is an I-phone screen cleaner. It's great because it evaporates a little bit faster than alcohol does, which means you can run the production line even faster and try to keep up with the quotas. The problem is that n-hexane is a potent neurotoxin and all these people have been exposed. Their hands shake uncontrollably. Most of them can't even pick up a glass.

I talk to people whose joints in their hands have disintegrated from working on the line, doing the same motion hundreds and hundreds of thousands of times. It's like carpel tunnel on a scale that we can scarcely imagine. You need to know that this is imminently avoidable. If these people were rotated, monthly, on their jobs this would not happen. But, that would require someone to care. That would require someone at Foxconn and the other suppliers to care. That would require someone at Apple and Dell and the other customers to care. Currently, no one in the ecosystem cares enough to even enforce that. And so, when you start working at 15 or 16, by the time you are 26, 27... your hands are ruined. And when they are truly ruined, once they will not do anything further, you know what we do with a defective part in a machine that makes machines. We throw it away...

Have another:
I talk to an old man with leathery skin. His right hand is twisted up into a claw. It was crushed in a metal press at Foxcon. He says he didn't receive any medical attention and that it healed this way. And then, when he was too slow, they fired him.

Today he works at a woodworking plant. He says he likes it better. He says the people are nicer and the hours are more reasonable. He works about 70 hours a week. And I ask him what he did when he was at Foxconn. And he says he worked on the metal enclosures for the laptops and he worked on the Ipad. And when he says this, I reach into my satchel and I take out my Ipad. And when he sees it, he sees it his eyes widen because one of the ultimate ironies of globalism: at this point there are no iPads in China. Even though, every last one of them was made at factories in China, they have all been packaged up in perfectly miminalist Apple packaging and then shipped across the seas, but we can all enjoy them.

[sidenote: I question the veracity here. My simple google-fu shows that iPads can be bought in China. However, Mr. Daisey's statement may as well be true, because for the whole of mainland China, there are only 5 Apple stores. That would be like the U.S. having roughly 1 Apple store in the entire country.][/end derail]

He's never actually seen one on; this thing that took his hand. I turn it on, unlock the screen and pass it to him. He takes it. The icons flare into view and he strokes the screen with his ruined hand. And he icons slide back and forth. And he says something to Cathy [his translator] and Cathy says, "He says 'it's a kind of magic.'"
Zapo
Posted 06:23am 12/1/12
The only way that the quality of life for people in Asia is going to increase across the board is if our quality of life were to drop slightly.

The Western World has been happy exploiting people with cheap wages for decades, and every now and then likes to feign interest before we go back to buying our cheap TVs and cheap clothes.
fade
Posted 11:06am 13/1/12
lol @ the trendy pinko lefties who hate globalisation blogging about same from their full suite of apple products.
thermite
Posted 12:33pm 13/1/12
I don't think any of this should be blamed on customers. A consumer doesn't decide what product is made, where it's made, or how much it costs, at least not directly. Most consumers are not even aware, nor is it normal that they should care, how the business behind the product operates.
I don't even know to what extent the companies selling the product can be blamed, I bet they didn't decide people should be treated like s***, all they know is they're getting a good deal from some chinese manufacturer.
It is within the management of the factory and the local governments there that the problem can be addressed. It's chinese people doing it to other chinese people really. They don't value the life of a worker. The factory owners probably justify it by convincing themselves they are doing people a favour by providing work. The government doesn't want to f*** with the economy by increasing standards? I don't know.
But why does this happen in some places, and not in others? Why isn't there an xbox sweatshop in Brisbane? What characteristics lead a country or an area within a country to become the exploited arse-end of the economy? I think it's the culture and attitude of the people there. It's not like they just got caught with their pants down, they let this happen, and they continue to let it happen now.
There are people in that country that have the power to change things, but they are a cold unforgiving heartless people, especially to their own.
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