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Thousands strike at Japanese parts plant

By Wen Ya  (Global Times)

16:10, November 30, 2012

An auto parts factory under the Japanese giant Yazaki Corporation in Shantou, Guangdong Province, suspended one of its Japanese staff members and fired a Chinese employee after a strike involving 3,000 workers on November 22, a staff member of the factory confirmed to the Global Times Thursday.

The strike was triggered after some 250 workers were unwilling to move from their old plant to a new one in the same city due to the shutdown of a canteen on November 22, when the contract to run the canteen expired, a director from the managing department of Shantou Yazaki Auto Parts Company, surnamed Jiang, told the Global Times.

The Hong Kong-based Oriental Daily Wednesday said the strike was provoked by the Japanese staff member's physical assault against Chinese employees.

An employee who answered the phone at the company's office but would not identify herself confirmed there had been a physical confrontation. "The 250 workers have had labor disputes with the company for a long time."

When they protested at the company's headquarters building in Shantou on November 22, the Japanese head of the management department beat three of the Chinese workers, causing more than 3,000 employees to go on strike.

However, Jiang denied there was a physical attack. "No evidence shows he beat the workers. He just wanted to stop the chaos and was jostled to the ground by the workers," said Jiang. "He failed to handle the issue properly and apologized to the workers."

Zhuang Xiaojia, a director from the company's human resources department, was also fired, Jiang said.

The woman who answered the company's phone said Zhuang was dismissed because workers dislike her and believed she was an accomplice of the Japanese who allegedly attacked the three workers.

The local police are still investigating the case.

When the Global Times contacted the Shantou Public Security Bureau by phone on Thursday, an employee from the bureau's publicity department said the investigation was still underway and no details could be provided.

The operation at the plant had mostly resumed Tuesday, while the company is still negotiating with the 250 workers who insist on not moving into the new plant, Jiang said.

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