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Workers at Microsoft Plant Threaten Mass Suicide in Pay Dispute

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Microsoft is investigating a report that workers at a Chinese plant that makes its Xbox game systems threatened mass suicide in a pay dispute, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the company's Hong Kong office.

CNN has not been able to confirm details of the dispute, but Microsoft and Foxconn, the plant owner, did respond to inquiries.

"Microsoft takes working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously, and we are currently investigating this issue," the Microsoft statement said.

Foxconn -- a Chinese contractor that makes brand-name electronics for companies such as Microsoft and Apple -- would only say that there was a protest at its Wuhan, China factory and it was over.

Foxconn's raised workers pay twice at its factory in Shenzhen, China in 2010 after a spate of suicides, Chinese state media reported at the time.

"We have a stringent Vendor Code of Conduct that spells out our expectations, and we monitor working conditions closely on an ongoing basis and address issues as they emerge," Microsoft's statement said. "Microsoft is committed to the fair treatment and safety of workers employed by our vendors and to ensuring conformance with Microsoft policy."

After the 2010 suicides at Foxconn, the company said it was taking measures to improve workers' lives, including organizing recreational activities, calling in Buddhist monks to offer spiritual consolation and setting up a 24-hour help line.

Foxconn, one of the world's top electronics manufacturers, also makes products for companies such as Dell, Hewlett Packard and Sony.

It employed at estimated 800,000 employees in China in October 2010.

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