Foxconn Workers Vowed to Jump Off Roof in Protest

Chinese employees take action against assembly line conditions
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 12, 2012 12:49 AM CST
Updated Jan 12, 2012 3:50 AM CST
In an earlier protest this year, Chinese university students, dressed as Foxconn workers, hold mock iPads with a skeleton print outside an Apple Premium Reseller shop in Hong Kong.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

(Newser) – Close to 150 Chinese workers gathered on the rooftop of their Foxconn factory in Wuhan and threatened to leap to their deaths in a "suicide protest" against poor working conditions. The workers were talked down by the local mayor and company officials after spending two days on top of the three-story building. They were protesting a grueling new assembly line. "The assembly line ran very fast, and after just one morning we all had blisters, and the skin on our hand was black," a worker told the Telegraph. "The factory was also really choked with dust and no one could bear it."

A Foxconn statement said the protest was "successfully and peacefully resolved," and that 45 employees chose to resign following negotiations. The company is the world's largest electronics manufacturer and creates products for Apple, Sony, and Nintendo, among many other brands. It has a reputation for often unsafe and high-pressure working conditions, and employee suicides. In 2010, 14 workers committed suicide by jumping off various company buildings. In the wake of the deaths, Foxconn installed safety nets and hired counselors.

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