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China's Foxconn workers: from suicide threats to a trade union?

[I]n Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province…up to 200 workers from the Microsoft Xbox production line of Foxconn (part of Hon Hai)…a major supplier of Apple…staged a strike...[and] threatened to kill themselves…In 2010…18 of their colleagues…did attempt suicide; 14 died. Some employees and labour organisations blamed a combination of factors for the workers' deaths: low wages, long working hours – sometimes up to 16 hours a day – and inhuman treatment...[However,] migrant workers [are] beginning to resist…This year, there has been a wave of factory revolts across six provinces in China…in southern China's Guangdong province…villagers staged well-organised protests…The intensive standoff ended…when top provincial leaders agreed to some of their demands...I hope China's leaders will really listen to the farmers, opening up more channels for them to express their grievances, and allowing some kind of independent labour union or at least a collective bargaining mechanism to ease the conflicts. And ultimately, they'll have to grant the same rights to those who make gadgets...[also refers to Honda]

Part of the following stories

Al Jazeera video highlights allegations of labour rights abuses at Foxconn factories in China manufacturing Apple products

Microsoft investigates claims that workers at Foxconn factory supplying Xbox threatened mass suicide in pay dispute

USA: Comptroller & pension funds call on Dell, Intel & Motorola to follow example set by other companies & adopt supply chain policies recognising workers’ rights

Fair Labor Association begins Apple supplier audits at Foxconn in China

Sherpa releases proposal paper with 46 ideas to foster transnational regulation of companies