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China Xbox Workers Threaten Suicide In Labor Protest

Xbox Logo Black Green - H 2012

Dozens of workers climbed to a factory roof in Wuhan after manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group announced plans to shut down the assembly line.

Workers at a Chinese factory in charge of assembling Xbox video game consoles China resorted to drastic measures to express their unhappiness over potential job transfers Jan. 3. 

Dozens of employees climbed to the top of the building's six-story dormitory roof, with some threatening to commit suicide by jumping off after contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group announced plans to shut down the assembly line for the Xbox 360 in Wuhan, reports the Associated Press

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The dispute escalated after Foxconn, which said it would transfer the workers to other jobs, took back its offer of severance pay for those who declined to transfer, something Foxconn denied. 

Wuhan city officials were called to the scene, persuading the workers to come down from their perches and return to work, according to the AP

"Actually none of them were going to jump," Wang Jungang, an equipment engineer in the Xbox production line, who left the plant earlier this month, told the AP. "They were there for the compensation. But the government and the company officials were just as afraid, because if even one of them jumped, the consequences would be hard to imagine."

China has been facing growing unrest in recent months as the economy has faltered due to rising production costs, declining credit and slowing European and American product orders.