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Forum Post: Microsoft Probes Mass Suicide Threat at China Plant

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 11, 2012, 3:53 p.m. EST by infonomics (393)
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Microsoft is investigating a report that workers at a Chinese plant that makes its Xbox game systems threatened mass suicide in a pay dispute, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the company's Hong Kong office. CNN has not been able to confirm details of the dispute, but Microsoft and Foxconn, the plant owner, did respond to inquiries. Foxconn, one of the world's top electronics manufacturers, also makes products for companies such as Dell, Hewlett Packard and Sony. It employed at estimated 800,000 employees in China in October 2010.

How many of those jobs should be in the U.S.A.?

http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/11/world/asia/china-microsoft-factory/index.html

14 Comments

14 Comments


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[-] 2 points by buphiloman (840) 2 years ago

They probably got tired of the Blue Screen of Death!!!

Just, lightly, kidding. It is horribly tragic that these people should have working conditions so horrendous that the threat of mass suicide becomes a live option. This is what unregulated crony capitalist plutocratic fascism leads people to contemplate.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22252) 2 years ago

That is so profoundly sad.

[-] 1 points by ithink (761) from York, PA 2 years ago

That reminds me of a story I heard on NPR's This American Life, over the weekend. This guy really brings this stuff to life..

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/454/mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

To ask if they "should" be here, is to ask to turn back the hands of time.

Sorry. No can do.

I feel that as worker parity increases in China, their markets will grow.

As that happens, more "jobs", will return to the US, and Europe.

Chinese markets, will then open up for exports from those producers.

The rich will likely get richer, but so will the Chinese workers, be more secure in their lives and families.

At the same time those securities will return to the US and Europe.

These Chinese workers are at point similar to the one our workers went through in the gilded age, but the barons are much more powerful.

Union, YES!! And it can't happen soon enough, for the Chinese worker.

[-] 1 points by timir (183) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

probably work conditions in china are extremely bad. The disparity between economic grow and social income so tremendous. probably people in china still get their couple dollars a day, it makes them crazy.

[-] 1 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Are you trying to say Americans deserve jobs more than the Chinese?

[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 2 years ago

Heck yes. By the way, great job on the site.

[-] 1 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You don't like chinese people? :(

Why are Americans entitled to better?

[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 2 years ago

First question, no. I work amicably with Chinese-Americans every day as a co-worker in my brother's CPA firm. In truth and candor, the first question is mutually exclusive to the second. In other words, my like or dislike of any ethnic group or any individual is independent of my reason for wanting jobs for Americans. (Actually, I find it difficult to judge an ethnic group because the sample sizes are just too small.)

Question #2. I think some allegiance is owed to those Americans who either directly served in the military or whose ancestors served in the military to protect the rights of business to market their products worldwide. Many of our wars of choice are not solely for humane reasons as our elected officials would have us believe. Indeed, our elected officials often openly cite that our presence in this region or that region is because of our national interest, including the protection of our right to natural resources and, to my conjecture, protect capitalism. In short, one reason we fight wars is to allow Corporate American to roam freely about the world. Surely, for this right, I would expect some allegiance to those who make it possible.

Incidentally, I cannot resist asking, how did you make that leap from my wanting jobs for Americans to my sentiments about the Chinese? Seriously, I cannot connect the dots on this one.

[-] 1 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I wasn't really accusing you of being a racist :P But you do realize that the argument you're making sounds remarkably similar to far right nationalism right?

[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 2 years ago

No, I did not know that I was making an argument for nationalism or any other 'ism'. Indeed, the suggestion is so foreign to me that I must take some time to ponder the charge you make. I find it perplexing that you make a reference of far right for me when my family and friends think the opposite. But in candor, I detest labels, that is why I remain firmly independent. Despite my answer above which I think is adequate, I will return when I consider the charge made against me as I do not take such lightly. My interest in the matter is not personal, rather it is intellectual. I want to know from myself why it is considered nefarious to favor jobs for Americans from American companies(*).

(*) After writing this thought and reading again, I really cannot believe I felt the need to write it.

[-] 2 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

This isn't a charge and I'm not accusing you of being any label in particular. I'm just saying that these particular thoughts have a lot of overlap with orientalism and right wing extremism. For example like expressing the importance of a national identity, the notion that the people of a nation have birth rights, putting chinese workers in a subservient role so american imperialism can come first, putting the military service members on a pedestal, hostility towards free market corporate power that does not serve the nation, etc. Typically the far left is very anti-nationalism (with some exceptions like maoism) instead promoting egalitarianism and international solidarity. I respect that you're a free thinker, but sometimes it's worth considering the connotations attached to particular combinations of ideas.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I see what you're saying. I don't have a problem with Chinese workers, as such. I think the problem is free and fair trade. And I'm no expert on trade policy, so I can't talk specifics. But my general understanding is that they do not practice fair trade and devalue their currency in order to gain competitive advantage. I think thats the problem. To the disadvantage of American workers.

[+] -6 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Indeed, our elected officials often openly cite that our presence in this region or that region is because of our national interest, including the protection of our right to natural resources and, to my conjecture, protect capitalism. In short, one reason we fight wars is to allow Corporate American to roam freely about the world.

I have a distinct problem with that. Alcoa for example, has no inherent right to minerals of South America - no more than anyone else - and certainly not so much so that it trumps our own national interest in supporting the right of the people of Chile to choose Salvatore Allende as their President.

And if the Chinese deserve jobs thanks to American companies, then the very least they should receive is equitable wages, under employers who pursue a regimen of safeguards ensuring both worker and environmental protections of the highest caliber.

But that never happens. I think the Chinese, the Mexicans, and all other such cases, deserve much better - especially from companies that

  • bear our name, and hence, our reputation