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Strike ends but pay talks continue

By Xiang Mingchao and An Baijie  (China Daily)

10:16, October 12, 2012

Workers at a company in Henan province ended a two-day strike over low pay on Thursday.

Wang Gengming, public relations manager at Xinfei Electric Co Ltd, said the company is in talks with worker representatives over the salary issue.

According to a report in Beijing Business Today on Thursday, the strike involved thousands of workers.

Photographs were circulated online showing protesters blocking the company's gate on Tuesday. One photograph showed a strikers' poster on the wall of the company, which claimed salaries had remained stagnant for a decade.

"The monthly income of workers in the temperature control barometer workshop is 890 yuan ($142) during slow seasons and 1,200 yuan during busy seasons, which is far less than the city's average income level of 2,160 yuan," the poster read.

Xinfei Electric, founded in Xinxiang city in 1984, was a leading Chinese refrigeration products manufacturer in the 1990s. It currently has about 15,000 workers, according to the company.

In 1994, Hong Leong Group Singapore, through its subsidiary -Hong Leong Asia Ltd - bought a 51 percent stake in Xinfei. The Singaporean company increased its controlling stake to 90 percent in 2005, which Xinfei said on its website "is testimony to the confidence and commitment that Hong Leong Asia Ltd has in the company's future growth".

However, according to the protesters' poster, the company's market share has shrunk from a peak of 15 percent to less than 5 percent in the second quarter this year and its net profit stood at minus 118 million yuan for the first half of this year.


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