WantChina Times and Gameplanet are reporting that some 300 Foxconn employees working on Microsoft's Xbox 360 manufacturing line threatened suicide after the corporation denied a promised compensation package.
Foxconn--one of the world's largest contract manufacturers of electronic components and products for companies like Apple, Dell, HP, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft--has once again come under fire over poor working conditions at one of its Chinese factories.
According to a WantChina Times report, around 300 employees at the Foxconn Technology Park in Wuhan, China, (reportedly working on the Xbox 360 manufacturing line) threatened a mass suicide from the building's roof last week after Foxconn refused to pay out compensation packages it had previously promised.
Citing Chinese antigovernment website China Jasmine Revolution, WantChina Times reports that the Foxconn employees first asked for a raise, which was refused, before being told they had a choice between continuing work at the current pay rate or quitting their positions and receiving a compensation package.
According to the report, Foxconn terminated the promised agreement when most of the employees chose the compensation package.
The workers climbed onto the building's roof and threatened to jump in protest but were reportedly dissuaded from the suicide attempt by the mayor of Wuhan.
Microsoft has since issued the following statement to media in response to the reports:
"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 made international headlines in 2010 after 18 employees attempted suicide, and 14 died in protest over poor working conditions and low wages throughout Foxconn's factories in China.
LOL this is the funniest thing I have seen all day. You gotta love that greedy M$ for screwing its workers.
"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." Seems that if the above statement were true, then Microsoft would have taken their business elsewhere back in 2010 when 14 Foxconn workers successfully committed suicide.
@danjammer69 that's because you don't know how bad it is to work in a manufacturing line in China. They pay people almost nothing and the working hours are huge.Threatening mass suicide is an overreaction, yes, but you just can't compare your job with theirs, no matter how bad yours may be.
@donalbane I agree with you that the topic title is majorly misleading. IT's a problem with a lot of western companies that outsource to China. They just have no idea what the working conditions are. ESPN just did an article about lots of these sportswear companies that contract with bad factories in SE asia.
This is not just MS that does this... Many American companies outsource their prodution. But that is also much of the problem. Sure the products are cheaper to be built in China... the flipside is that America is losing countless jobs and our social systems are now straining. There are not enough jobs to go around. period. The "get a job" mantra is the same as the "let them eat cake" mantra. It is mathematically unsound. there are not enough jobs. Ironically we are going to be hurting worse as government now can't fund for teachers, police, firefighters = more loss jobs and then more out in social programs = more government spending. A vicious cycle. We could afford to pay for $500 for an Xbox 360 if Americans were paid $25 an hour to build the products. But for these companies it isn't about America... they could care less. They need to sell their product to everyone else too. No easy solutions.... but I certainly don't think 'pure capitalism' will save America. It is going to sink it as companies race to the bottom for cheapest workers possible. Improving tech and communications will continue to destroy more jobs in American than it will create. People need to come before money. That isn't 'communistic' it is human.
@psx_warrior Nothing says you can't get married. You are making a choice. Because you cannot financially make it work you choose not to get married. I would love to have an acre of land and a pool, but I choose to live in Las Vegas rather than Texas so that is not a reality for me right now. Its my choice though. If you cant make ends meet with your current skill set, why not improve your skills and make a new career? I did Land Development for 12 years and was laid off in 09 with the collapse. I then retrained myself(not enough money for college) and am now a beginning Programmer. I made the choices to do the hard things I needed to do to get back on the right track. Why are you so reliant on this dysfunctional government. Take some initiative and stop complaining and you have no idea how much you can climb.
The chinese and other developing countries should stop cow towing to these technology companies and re distrubute their workforce to green jobs; honestly how many more xbox360's, PS3's and "i" products does the world need...i believe if you want to build something, build so let it's usefulness last for an indefinite amount of time
The title is so tremendously misleading. They make Sony, Apple AND Microsoft products at that factory... highlighting the Microsoft connection is just a way to fuel the fanboy wars. If you don't believe me, check out NPRs recent story about how people at that same plant who worked on Apple products have been offing themselves as well. (What's more, the factory averages of suicide rates are lower than the Chinese average.) So yeah... this article is largely sensationalism.
I have never been so distraught or tied to a job and the owrking conditions to offer to kill myself over it. I can understand that Chine is a very different society than what most of us are used to, but geez I can't seem to grasp this.
@Nzilla But if they were having them manufactured in, say, the US those X-Box's would be much more expensive. So would pretty much every other electronic device we take for granted here in the 1st World. Microsoft are hardly the only company that uses 3rd World labor. Not saying it's right, it's just as it is. A consequence of our demand for high wages and cheap goods.
2majiger Cheap labour is cheap. Lots of BS from Microsoft saying that they take it seriously if they contract a company that has had problems with workforce in the past. ********************************************************* Microsoft isn't the only company who has used Foxconn in the past for manufacturing. Both Sony and Nintendo have used them too. I'm sure Microsoft does care about the employees, but they don't cut their checks. The best they can do is hire some workers to watch over the conditions in the work environment. They could switch to a different vendor, but that's time consuming and will cost a large amount of money. I'm sure they are under contract with Funconn as well. They would have been better leaving the manufacturing to US labor force.
Foxconn doesn't seem like they care about their employees in the least. This isn't Microsoft's fault. Their only fault was having China employers creating their systems instead of Ameicans in the good ol U.S. or A. I'm so tired of American companies having China and Mexico people doing jobs that Americans could easily do. Of course Americans will want more then $2 an hour, that's . These Asian employees need to stop accepting cheap pay for work. Demand more money and eventually these companies will have to raise your wages. Then maybe America can get back some of their jobs. I don't see any China, Meixco, Japan or Europe countries outsourcing jobs to America to do? We wonder why USA is in debt. This is part of the reason why.
What an unnecessarily inflammatory headline, it may be true, but singling out the console they were working on currently is irrelevant and only guaranteed to send fanboys (both PS3 and 360) into a frenzy obscuring what is a very serious issue that needs to be discussed. Virtually all makers of electronics are using cheap Chinese labor for manufacturing, if they really cared about the conditions they could invest in creating the infrastructure to move these jobs to the US (or japan or wherever the company is located) and then take the hit in profit by paying a real living wage with benefits like 40 hour weeks and healthcare.
@dxdevilex0 hehe... pretty right i think it's no different for them too , dying in a coal mine or committing to suicide :oops: P.S : that was not racist
@BryanParksSuper Cheap labour has nothing to do with the numerous Xbox problems, it's simply bad design. I don't think you read this article at all didn't you? Sony uses Foxconn labour and they have only a few problems with their system... This isn't about the console itself, this is about poor working conditions at Foxconn...
@gralvader This isn't just exclusive to Microsoft, almost every manufacturer in the world is guilty of employing cheap labour... The RROD is just really bad design.
I just want to know how this went from poor chinese working conditions to PC gamers reigning supreme or something... Whatever, the average IQ on this site is a single digit from the looks of it.
@Valen_Ca Hmm I don't know, I understand where you're coming from but the customers aren't really in a position to make such choices? If the businesses want to produce their goods at a lower price overseas that's their choice, they're making a profit from other countries working regulations. When customers shop we don't pause to think at all about the standards of workers in these countries, we just buy something that we want, and the cheaper it is the better. I know what you're saying but it isn't the consumers ignorance, it's the businesses in charge who make the decisions. The only way to stop such matters would be through mass protest, but that won't happen. Back in the time of the industrial revolution in the UK when railways were produced on mass and woolen mills became machined workers constantly lost their lives. That wasn't a matter of the customers not caring though, more the fact the owners of the industries producing their goods as quickly and cheaply as possible. To be completely honest the only way change will happen is if China, Taiwan, Vietnam etc change their workers rights. But with their economy being the strongest in the world why would they risk to jeapordise it? Anyway.. lecture over :P
Microsoft doesn't care. The whole world knows about conditions at Foxconn and it's naive to believe that Microsoft has no idea about it and wants to seriously "investigate" anything. The fact is that Foxconn provides extremely cheap labour under appalling conditions that these tech companies can "plausibly" deny any knowledge of. Not that Sony or Nintendo are any less guilty.
@WCK619 nonsense your comment. microsoft doesnt pays their salary, it doesnt mean the xbox prices should be raised for the end-costumer. but still microsoft has a big influence on them and these big companies should help the world in a social way. I'm not chinese but I live here and I know how hard it is for them to live with these small salaries. they are not threatening the foxconn, they just dont see a way out for living a decent life. if you really value your life, go get a degree instead of talking nonsense. and get ready to die, because your new xbox 720 will probably costs more than U$$ 300,00. Judging by your stupid comment, I would be surprised to find out that your life is worth more than a hotdog.
Well look at it from Micro$oft's point of view, it must be hard for them to fund their vendors, after all it's not as though they're getting 70 euro a year off every costum- oh wait...
The consoles are already expensive as it is. Those workers want better conditions or they'll commit suicide? Well if I have to pay more than $300 for my next console then I'LL kill myself. And I value my own life more than theirs.
this seems like a pretty dumb idea over a labor dispute... if your dead you don't get paid at all. not to mention in a country with 3 billion people im sure there is a line to take your place. So yea good luck with that suicide
This is all communisms fault thank god i live in a free perfect democratic society where nothing can go wrong
He found that when U.S. firms hired lower-cost labor at foreign subsidiaries overseas their parent companies hired even more people in the U.S. to support expanded operations. Between 1991 and 2001, employment at foreign subsidiaries of U.S. multinationals rose by 2.8 million jobs; during that same period, employment at their parent firms in the U.S. rose by 5.5 million jobs. For every job ?outsourced? to India and other foreign countries, nearly two new jobs were generated here in the U.S."
Cheap labour is cheap. Lots of BS from Microsoft saying that they take it seriously if they contract a company that has had problems with workforce in the past.
This is just so stupid of M$. Foxconn is notoriously known for subjecting their employees in horrible and dilapidated working conditions, YET for all the wisdom that is M$ they still contract WITH them to manufacture their products /boggle Im wondering what could have Foxconn possibly told M$ about their companys working condition that convinced M$ to say, "Hey your right, those 18 suicide attempts were clearly not your fault, lets renew our contract!" If I was M$, I would have found a different manufacturing plant if they cared so much about working conditions. But they don't and they never will. Its a lot more cheaper to manufacture 360's in China/India/Africa than set up shop in good old USA where the 360 DOMINATES.
Oh dear god....not this place again?? Apparently they look as though they'll still in the business of driving their employees off the deep end. :( The only way a company/factory listens to situations like this is if the major companies that employ their facilities pull their contracts. Something to think about Microsoft (and Apple, too).
@Phatjam98 Maybe that's true, but just try to do something like make a car that runs on hydrogen and promote it heavily and see how free you really are in the US. I can tell you now I'm not free at all as this country's laws have shoehorned me and my girl into not being able to get marred at all due to her medial condition and my inability to cover her 2000.00 a month medical bills. Oh yeah, how wonderful 9.75 an hour is when it can barely help me make ends meet. If we had real manufacturing here in the states, and the fed would contract the money supply down, watch as the value of the dollar skyrockets to the moon as prices on iPods and PS3s fall through the floor. The value of our money would rise dramatically. This has all been set up like this on purpose.
These people attempted suicide cause they just found out they were responsible for.... RROD and E74. Thank God I gave up on Microsoft 3 yrs ago and switched to Sony. I will never buy anougher MS Console. Alot of people don't trust them anymore.
Microsoft: "...HHAHAHAHAAAA. Suppose it happens, what will we loose? I'm sure a lot of other people are would be happy and willing to take those jobs!" But hopefully they will go with the other way that they tend to solve their problems and throw money at it until it goes away.
@lusafis518 It wouldnt be a little higher, it would be amazingly higher. The Xbox would not be competitive, it would more expensive because in the USA you have to treat workers like human beings, which is quite expensive, in China ... you dont - Cheap.
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