Website China Jasmine Revolution reports via Watch China Times that around 300 employees of Foxconn threatened to commit suicide in Wuhan, China on January 2.
After being turned down over a raise request, they were reportedly told to quit with compensation or stay on board with no extra pay. Employees who quit under this pretense were not paid as promised, and it wasn't until 9:00pm on January 3 that they were talked down, eventually by the mayor of Wuhan.
Foxconn, as I hope most of you are aware, is involved with the production of many major electronics, including Apple devices and game consoles. You might recall stories about the installation of safety nets as a preventative measure against suicide attempts.
Indignant workers threaten suicide at Foxconn park in Wuhan [Watch China Times] [Image]
Speaking to Kotaku, a Microsoft spokesperson had this to say:
"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."
It's shockingly easy to distance ourselves from the things we buy on a daily basis. Let this serve as a reminder that we as consumers should be more proactive in determining where products come from, no matter how unpleasant the findings may be.
Personally, I'm done giving multinational corporations the benefit of the doubt for not being vigilant when it comes to exploitative working conditions at factories they contract. The way forward is not going to be achieved by making excuses for these companies and this type of behavior.