Hundreds of workers still on strike in China

Hundreds of workers still on strike in China

Hundreds of workers still on strike in China

Workers on strike blocking the entrance gate of a factory in Shanghai yell slogans. REUTERS photo

More than 200 workers at a Singapore-owned electronics plant in Shanghai remained on strike for a third day on Friday to denounce what they said was a management plan for mass layoffs, the latest outbreak of labor unrest in China.

Blue-jacketed workers, chanting slogans and holding aloft banners demanding explanation, blocked the entrance to the factory owned by Hi-P International in the Pudong district of China’s commercial hub.
Hi-P is an electronics contract manufacturer whose customers include Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.

The workers first stopped work on Wednesday, denouncing what they said was a plan to relocate the plant to a Shanghai suburb and demanding compensation for layoffs. Workers said the company planned to hire new staff.

Strikers said they had refused to sign agreements stipulating that their jobs would be terminated by the end of the year without compensation. They said the plant employed more than 1,500 workers, most of them women. Workers also said police had beaten up some protesters on Wednesday.
“They are moving the factory but I don’t want to go there,” said one worker surnamed Zhang, 28. “Now they just don’t want to compensate us. They do not want to even give us a single cent.”
The workers planned to press their stoppage through the weekend.

Strikes in China this year have pitted workers frustrated about rising costs against companies struggling with an external economic slowdown. The ruling Communist Party fears public discontent could erode its authority and alarm investors.