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Report: Nintendo, Others Inspecting Suicides At Assembly Plants

A rash of Chinese worker suicides has prompted Nintendo to re-examine labor conditions at Wii console assembler Foxconn, as the firm faces global scrutiny from partners including Microsoft, Sony, and Apple.
A rash of Chinese worker suicides has prompted Nintendo to re-examine labor conditions at Wii console assembler Foxconn, as the firm faces global scrutiny from partners including Microsoft, Sony, and Apple, according to a report in the UK Times Online. Over the past few months, 10 employees at the Taiwanese-headquartered Faxconn, which employs 800,000 Chinese workers, have committed suicide. Young factory workers have been hurling themselves from the dormitories on the factories' premises, with some alleging that harsh working conditions played a part. The Times said that other electronics manufacturers, including Dell, Sony, Apple and Hewlett-Packard, have launched similar investigations as the suicides gain more media attention. Foxconn has reportedly attempted to improve working conditions at its factories. In addition to manufacturing the typically squeaky clean Wii, Foxconn also is a manufacturing partner on Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3 and Apple's iPod. Typical with technology companies, Nintendo has guidelines for labor conditions for outsourced work, and regular checks of partners' working conditions are not uncommon. The Mario house is reportedly conducting a survey of Foxconn's practices to see if the manufacturer is within those guidelines, although it's unclear what kind of action would be taken if Foxconn fails to meet those standards.

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