Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

January 11, 2012 at 1:23 PM

[UPDATED] Mass suicide threat at Chinese plant that makes Xbox systems?

[Update at bottom — Microsoft says matter has been resolved.]

CNN is reporting that Microsoft is investigating a report that workers at a Foxconn plant in China that produces Xbox systems have threatened mass suicide over a pay dispute.

“Microsoft takes working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously, and we are currently investigating this issue,” according to a Microsoft statement. “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.”

CNN, which cited a statement issued by Microsoft’s Hong Kong office in its report, says Foxconn “would only say that there was a protest at its Wuhan, China factory and it was over.”

Foxconn manufactures electronics that are sold under other the brand name of other companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Sony.

At least 10 Foxconn workers — most of them at its factory in Shenzhen — committed suicide in 2010.

[Update 8:39 1/12/12: Microsoft issued the following statement saying the matter has been resolved:

“Microsoft is one of many companies that contracts with Foxconn to manufacture hardware. Upon learning of the labor protest in Wuhan, we immediately conducted an independent investigation of this issue.

After talking with workers and management, it is our understanding that the worker protest was related to staffing assignments and transfer policies, not working conditions. Due to regular production adjustments, Foxconn offered the workers the option of being transferred to alternative production lines or resigning and receiving all salary and bonuses due, according to length of service. After the protest, the majority of workers chose to return to work. A smaller portion of those employees elected to resign.

Microsoft takes working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously. 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.”]

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►