Employees work at the Foxconn factory in China.
You may think your boss is a bit of a blowhard, but when was the last time you threatened suicide over the way s/he treats you? Well, that's exactly what 300 employees of Foxconn, the Taiwan-based contract manufacturing partner to many of the world's tech giants including Microsoft and Apple, did on Jan. 2.
The employees were protesting the working conditions of Foxconn in China after the company failed to make good on promised compensation. In lieu of the raise, the workers were told they could quit with compensation or retain their jobs without a pay increase. Most quit and never saw a dime.
The factory was shut down, and production on the likes of the Xbox 360 slowed.
You'd think Foxconn would learn, since this isn't exactly a new experience for the company: in 2010, nine employees committed suicide during a five-month period, which led to much news coverage (and, following the media coverage, higher worker salaries).
Of course, even with that media coverage, Xbox and iPod sales didn't decrease.
Yesterday, Microsoft and Foxconn claimed the worker unrest has been quelled and agreements have been reached (refusing, of course, comment on the whole mass suicide threat part of it).
Ironically, and a little sadly, this was all happening during the Consumer Electronics Show, which offers many gadgets folks at Foxconn and similar companies are making.
Considering the frequency of these problems, it would be pretty surprising if there weren't more problems this year, but for now the companies claim it's been resolved.
There were no causalities (a pretty damn sad statement to have when discussing a protest), but not all the workers stayed on with the company, according to the New York Times.