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Workers at Xbox 360 plant threaten mass suicide

UPDATE: Microsoft is "investigating this issue".

UPDATE: Microsoft has issued the following statement in response to the story:

"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."

ORIGINAL STORY: Around 300 workers at a Foxconn manufacturing plant in Wuhan, China reportedly threatened to throw themselves en masse off the building's roof following a pay dispute earlier this month.

According to a WantChina Times report, as spotted by Kotaku, the staff, who worked on the Xbox 360 assembly line, were denied a pay rise by Foxconn management.

They were then offered a choice between staying on at their current wage or taking compensated dismissal. Many workers apparently chose the latter, however, management then rescinded the offer. In protest, the workers climbed onto the plant's roof and threatened to jump off.

The mayor of Wuhan apparently intervened and helped talk the workers down.

This isn't the first time Foxconn has made headlines. A spate of employee suicides back in 2010 led to management installing nets on the sides of its buildings to stop staff jumping.

At the time, Microsoft's Phil Spencer offered the following statement:

"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."

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.


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