Earlier this month in Shenzhen, while the world was watching how their iPads really got made, a group of approximately twenty Foxconn laborers climbed to the roof. There were there to protest Foxconn's decision to move factories from Shenzhen to the country's interior. The workers wanted to be reassigned in Shenzhen or released from their contracts.
Labor costs are rising in China and to remain profitable, Foxconn wants to relocate its plants from big cities like Shenzhen to more rural locations, where wages are cheaper. Moreover, since many workers come from rural villages to work in urban factories, Foxconn can, more or less, bring the factories to them.
According to Chinese news reports (via M.I.C. Gadget), around 200 Foxconn workers did not want to leave Shenzhen. Foxconn was able to reassign 150 workers in Shenzhen. The rest were left without any work. And without work, they do not draw a salary.
Unable to get out of their contracts, twenty or so workers took to the roof for 26 hours in a suicide standoff. While the above photo shows far less, the whole thing echoed an incident from earlier this year when Foxconn workers on the Xbox 360 production line threatened to jump from the factory rooftops.