Chinese Xbox 360 Factory Workers Threaten Mass Suicide Over Wages

Factory employees for the electronics giant Foxconn staged a protest earlier this month, threatening mass suicide over unpaid wages.

Around 300 employees working at the Wuhan factory in the capital of the Hubei province participated in the protest, reportedly over the claim that the factory did not pay wages owed to former employees.

The workers, who build Xbox 360s at the facility, promised to throw themselves off the roof of the plant if the wages are not paid. Pictures of the workers, standing on the roof of Foxconn building, circulated throughout Chinese social media sites.

The suicide protest emerged following a dispute between the company and employees over a demand for a salary increase, according to Chinese news reports.

News reports indicated that on Jan. 2, around 100 employees demanded a salary increase from the company. The factory leaders refused the demand, but told employees that they could quit their positions and would receive one month’s compensation for every year they worked at the plant.

Several workers quit, but the company but were never given their promise for compensation, causing current employees to erupt in protest.

Foxconn issued a statement regarding the incident, saying that the protest had been curbed.

“The incident was successfully and peacefully resolved later that morning after discussions between the workers, local Foxconn officials and representatives from the local government,” the statement read.

The electronics manufacturing giant has 13 factories in nine Chinese cities and has plans to build more.

As an electronics manufacturer, Foxconn manufactures products for some of the top electronic companies in the world including Apple, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard.

China’s Foxconn factories have made headlines over a several suicides that occurred in 2010 and the suicide protest comes at a time when China’s human rights record is being increasingly questioned.

In fact, the Christian persecution organization China Aid said that in 2011 the country faced its worst year on record for human rights violations and religious persecution since 1989.

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