Foxconn workers at 360 plant threaten mass suicide
Update: Microsoft responds
Microsoft has responded to the story with an official statement regarding its policy on using Foxconn as a manufacturer.
"Microsoft takes working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously, and we are currently investigating this issue," a spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz.
"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."
300 workers at a Foxconn manufacturing plant in China have reportedly threatened mass suicide after a request for a pay increase was denied by the company, followed by backpedalling on an alternative compensation deal.
Foxconn produces a vast array of Western electronics, including products for Nintendo, Apple, Sony and Microsoft. The workers at this particular plant, in Wuhan, had been working on assembly lines constructing Xbox 360s, reports Kotaku.
Having been offered a choice between continued work or compensated dismissal, many workers chose to leave and take the payments offered. However, those payment offers were then rescinded, leading the group to take to the plant's roofs and threaten to jump.
Various anti-government websites in China reported the case, which occurred last week. It has also been reported that the Mayor of Wuhan was called upon to intervene in the stand-off, ending the confrontation peacefully at 9pm on January 3.
Foxconn as come under fire repeatedly from human rights campaigners and workers groups before, both from within and outside of China. Most notoriously, the group is said to have installed anti-suicide netting in some plants after at least 12 workers who had been manufacturing iOS devices for Apple ended their own lives in protest at working conditions and treatment.
In a statement issued to Kotaku in 2010, after a spate of similar incidents and complaints at plants producing Microsoft goods, the Microsoft's Phil Spencer claimed that: "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."
Microsoft has been contacted for comment on the events in Wuhan.