(Bloomberg) - Foxconn Technology Group (FOXCGZ), maker of parts for Microsoft (MSFT) Corp.’s Xbox, said some members of its 1 million-person workforce threatened to jump from a factory building earlier this month to protest an internal transfer of employees.
About 150 workers at Foxconn’s plant in Wuhan, southern China, demonstrated on Jan. 2 in opposition to the company’s plan to move them to a new production line, the Taiwanese company said in an e-mailed statement today. Foxconn didn’t say how many threatened to leap from the three-story building.
The incident was resolved the same day, after talks between the workers, executives and government officials, Foxconn said. Microsoft said in a separate statement that it investigated the issue.
Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract manufacturer of electronics including Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone, raised wages and boosted worker welfare in 2010 after at least 10 employees committed suicide. The Wuhan protests showed the Taipei-based company needs to improve communication with workers, said Geoffrey Crothall, a director at rights group China Labor Bulletin.
“The reason you see these protests is because the employees feel they have no other option,” Crothall said by phone from Hong Kong today. Threatening suicide is a common way for Chinese workers to draw employers’ attention to grievances, he said.