Yesterday we brought you the news that Microsoft was looking into a reported labor dispute at Foxconn, the Chinese company that it contracts much of its Xbox 360 production to. According to certain sources, several hundred workers threatened to commit mass suicide over the disagreement.
Now, just a day later, Microsoft has told that Wall Street Journal that the issue has been sorted, with some 45 workers quitting, and the rest returning to work. Also, according to the company, the problem was over “staffing assignments and transfer policies, not working conditions.” Foxconn claims that some of its workers did not want to be internally transferred, sparking the unrest.
TNW is unsure what a transfer signifies inside of Foxconn, but it could mean different hours (due to production cycles) or lower pay (due to differing contracts with outside corporations). Given that the workers in question were so unsatisfied with the potential change, we suspect that there was to be some sort of cut or sacrifice endured.
Yesterday Microsoft said that it “takes working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously.”
Foxconn has had a controversial history of relations with its workers, with suicides at its factories leading to international unrest of labor conditions at its plants, which are critical components of the larger global electronics industry. The company produces many products for Apple, Microsoft, and other household brand names.