Shenzhen Strike Enters Fourth Day

Chinese workers demand compensation for work performed during a period of 'restructuring.'

china-shenzhen-strike-305.gif Workers at Wong's Electronics Co. in Shenzhen's Bao'an district stage a strike action, Dec. 27, 2012.
Photo courtesy of Jasmine Revolution.

Workers at a Hong Kong-invested electronics factory in the southern city of Shenzhen began a fourth day of strike action on Thursday over compensation, assembling outside factory gates with banners, according to social media posts.

Around 3,000 workers have been gathering in protest at Wong's Electronics Co. in Shenzhen's Bao'an district since Monday, saying that management hadn't followed China's laws on compensation according to seniority during a recent company restructuring.

Photos posted online by participants showed streets filled with men and women in blue uniforms, holding banners amid ranks of police officers.

"The relevant departments are dealing with this matter," said an employee who answered the phone at a nearby government office.

Calls to the factory's main office number went unanswered during office hours on Thursday, while an employee who answered another line confirmed the strike was still going on.

"I think they are still there, yes," the employee said, declining to give a name.

"There are more than 3,000 people there. Yes [it's the entire workforce]."


The employee confirmed reports that the company was undergoing restructuring. "Both the name and the legal representative are both changing," he said.

"We don't know who's in charge of this, though. All we know is that the name of the factory is changing," the employee said.

A worker at the plant told RFA's Cantonese service on Thursday that workers were angry at not being compensated for their years of service during the restructuring.

"We want compensation, and the workers are still waiting for news right now," he said. "It's hard to calculate exactly how much money is involved."

An employee who answered the phone at the Hong Kong-based parent company, Wong's International, declined to comment.

"We don't know, we're just the office staff," the employee said. "I'm hanging up now."

Growing unrest

China is facing skyrocketing prices and repeated waves of labor unrest, as slowdowns in factory production have followed a two-year cool-down of the world's second-biggest economy.

Chinese manufacturers are battling surging costs in almost all areas of their business, and southern China in particular has seen a string of strikes and labor-related unrest in recent months.

In June, workers at a Taiwan-invested electronics factory in the same district staged a strike for several days over a plant relocation.

Employees of the Chaoyang Electronics factory in the city's Bao'an district blocked factory gates in protest over pay and working conditions, including plans to lay off any workers who didn't wish to relocate along with the plant.

Reported by Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin service, and by Lin Jing for the Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.

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