January 15, 2012 Microsoft Probes mass suicide threat at China Plant

On the heels of a highly negative report on Apple's manufacturing subcontractors around the world - Microsoft reports that it is investigating reports that workers in a Chinese plant manufacturing Xbox game systems, have thratened mass suicide in a pay dispute with their employers.

Though CNN reports that Microsoft takes these negative reports on working conditions in its subcontractors Xbox factory seriously, neith Microsoft or the Chinese manufacturer, owned by Foxconn, responded directly to questions. What is known is that workers in a Wuhan plant, over 150 workers, were so angered by transfer orders and working conditions that they stopped work and threatened mass suicide. Though the dispute appears to be temporarily resolved, some 45 workers chose to resign rather than continue to work at the plant.

Microsoft claims that these employees were really protesting staffing assignments and not working conditions and that the situation was "under control."

The issues of worker control and worker power are the same all over the world. Global labor solidarity is not a choice, but really is necessary to global labor organizing success.