300 Foxconn workers threatened to mass suicide on 2 Jan and were later talked down by mayor of Wuhan in Hubei province on 3 Jan according to Kotaku reports.Workers had asked for pay rises but were denied. Foxconn reportedly offered the option of leave with compensation or no raise, with most selecting dismissal with compensation. However, Foxconn has since allegedly denied payments for compensation, causing worker uproar and delays at the Microsoft Xbox production plant.
In 2010, Sacom, a student activist group, filmed aluminum dust on workers and waiting for shifts in long lines. The dust was caused from polishing iPad devices for Apple and later caused an explosion killing three and injuring 15. Last year, four workers jumped from buildings and three died. Sacom said “workers have extra workloads or have to skip the second meal break under the arrangement of ‘continuous shifts’” and “workers frequently endure excessive and forced overtime in order to gain a higher wage”.
Foxconn is responsible for the production of products for most major technology companies including Apple, Nintendo, Microsoft, Amazon, HP and Intel. Foxconn is currently increasing the roles of robots in the manufacturing process with a $224 million investment over three years.