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Mass suicide threatened at Chinese Foxconn factory

Jan. 11, 2012 at 3:14 PM   |   Comments

WUHAN, China, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- About 150 people at Foxconn, the world's largest electronics manufacturer, threatened mass suicide in China to protest working conditions, workers said.

The workers took to the roof of a factory in Wuhan in Hubei province and threatened to throw themselves off, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported.

After two days, they were coaxed down from the top of the three-story factory by Foxconn managers and local Chinese Communist Party officials, the newspaper said.

Foxconn, which manufactures consumer electronic devices for companies like Apple, Sony, Nintendo and HP, has had previous episodes of suicide by its factory workers, the report said.

In 2010, 18 workers threw themselves from the tops of several of the company's buildings and 14 died.

The latest protest began Jan. 2 after 600 workers were moved to a new production line to make computer cases for Acer, a Taiwanese computer company.

"We were put to work without any training and paid piecemeal. The assembly line ran very fast and after just one morning we all had blisters and the skin on our hands was black," said one of the protesting workers, who asked to remain anonymous.

"The factory was also really choked with dust and no one could bear it," he said.

Reports from inside several Foxconn factories allege the company runs them in a "military" fashion that many workers cannot handle.

At Foxconn's main plant in Longhua, 5 per cent of the workers, or 24,000 people, quit every month, the Daily Telegraph reported.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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