A dispute over pay and working conditions resulted in about 300 workers climbing to the roof of one of the buildings at Foxconn Technology Park in China early last week. The incident began when employees asked their bosses for a raise but were denied. Employees were told either to quit with compensation or to keep their jobs with no additional payment. Many employees took the former, but the company decided to terminate the agreement anyway and not pay the promised compensation. The workers protested the action by threatening to jump to their deaths.
The standoff eventually came to an end when the mayor of Wuhan showed up and literally talked the former employees off the ledge.
These particular employees were responsible for manufacturing parts for Xbox 360 consoles and production had actually come to a halt for several hours during the protest.
Microsoft had this to say:
"Microsoft takes working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously, and we are currently investigating this issue," a spokesperson told the Huffington Post UK.
"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."
Foxconn factories in China were already under examination because of several suicides by employees in the past five years—actually forcing the company to install anti-suicide nets at some of their facilities. In addition to Xbox 360 components, Foxconn also manufactures products for Apple, Sony, Nintendo and many other Fortune 500 companies.