For the second time in two years, Chinese factory workers are threatening to sacrifice their lives if their wages are not increased and working conditions are not improved.
On January 2nd, In Wuhan China, 150 workers secured positions on the top of Foxconn Factory, the largest manufacturing company of electronic devices for companies such as Sony, Microsoft, HP, Apple, and Nintendo. They camped out for several days before being coaxed down by the Major of Wuhan.
The workers were threatening to jump from the roof after their requests for wages to be raised was denied days earlier. The company stated that any workers who were unhappy with the present conditions were free to leave with a severance pay of sorts. But after many left and no money was ever issued, outraged men took to the roofs in protest. Although the outcome was not deadly, this is not the first time these tactics have been used, and it is not the first time Foxconn factories have come under fire for mistreating and exploiting their workers. In 2010, 18 men threw themselves from the factory roof of a Shenzhen plant, resulting in 14 deaths.
Although these methods seem horrific, Chinese laborers have suffered physical pains and ailments from the military like methods in which the factory runs its operations and many are living in poverty, with wages not enough to support their families. The production lines of these factories are controlled with an iron fist and workers complain of daily blisters on their hands and skin and being choked by fumes and dust.
At Foxconn’s plant in Longhua, 24,000 people are reported to quite every month.