3,000 Chinese workers strike over low pay in German-invested company

09:06, November 13, 2009      

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Nearly 3,000 women workers of a German-invested company in south China's Hainan Province has beguna strike to press their demands on bonus, pay and vacations.

The Chinese workers gathered Thursday in front of the plant of the Hainan Youmei Underwear Co., Ltd in Haikou City, the provincial capital, to continue their protest which began Wednesday.

"The strike started after the management said a worker could not get year-end bonus if her production efficiency failed to reach 50 percent of the average level last year," said Mo Xiaohui, an employee. "That was impossible for most of us as the production dropped sharply in the financial crisis."

The company was invested by the Germany-based Triumph International Overseas Ltd. in 1992.

"The boss wants to cut our bonus worth about 700 yuan (102 U.S. dollars), even if our monthly salary is as low as between 500 yuan and 600 yuan," said a worker named Li Guihua. "It's going too far."

The board has later agreed to grant bonus, but workers decided to continue the strike to fulfill other demands, said Han Lirong, the workers' union chairman.

They demanded the company raise the wages to the minimum national standard, protect workers' rights to enjoy vacations according to the law, and prohibit imposing any unreasonable monetary penalty.

"Now we have to go on strike as we have long been asking the company to accept our demands," Mo said.

Huang Xueyan, the company's personnel manager, said the negotiation was hard as workers would not select representatives to talk with the management.

"The headquarter has sent a senior manager to Haikou to handle the dispute," Huang said.

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