UPDATE 2: According to an email from the Foxconn Technology Group to Bloomberg, 150 Foxconn employees in the Wuhan plant had protested about plans to transfer them to another unit. Foxconn said the issue was resolved the same day after talks with executives and local government officials.
Foxconn states that following the discussions, 45 of the 150 workers chose to resign.
Microsoft adds, "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."
UPDATE: Microsoft has issued a general statement in response to this story:
“Microsoft takes working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously, and we are currently investigating this issue.
“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.”
ORIGINAL: Approximately 300 Foxconn employees who work on the Xbox 360 manufacturing line in Wuhan, China, threatened to jump from the building’s roof following a rescinded pay deal earlier this month.
According to WantChina Times, the employees had sought a pay rise but were denied by Foxconn management.
The company then offered staff a choice between continuing to work at current rates or taking a compensated dismissal package. Many workers chose the latter, but Foxconn reneged on the package.
In protest, the workers climbed to the roof and threatened to jump, but were apparently talked down from the ledge by Wuhan’s mayor.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said, “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.”
WantChina Times reports that 14 Foxconn employees committed suicide in 2010. Employees frequently complained of long working hours and discrimination.