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Honda says China plants operating despite strike
Published on: 2010-06-12
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June 12 (Reuters) - Honda Motor's (7267.T) Chinese car plants are operating normally and expected to stay open this weekend, its China spokesman said on Saturday.

Production at two of its Chinese car factories were idled for two days this week due to a shortage of parts from a strike-hit supplier.

"Production is normal today and I expect things to run according to schedule on Sunday," Takayuki Fujii said. 

The official Xinhua news agency reported earlier on Saturday that a strike at another parts supplier, a lock factory, could halt Honda's car assembly operations in China.

Fujii said discussions with workers at the factory were still ongoing but did not specify how the strike would affect production next week. Saturday and Sunday are officially work days in China, ahead of a three-day public holiday.
Xinhua reported that a spokesman for Honda Motor (China) Investment Co. Ltd., the owner of the lock plant, said on Friday "the current inventory of locks can only last until Saturday and the company has yet to set production plans for any time after June 13".
On Friday, hundreds of workers at Honda Lock, which makes locks for Honda cars in the city of Zhongshan, in Guangdong province, refused to start work and demanded higher pay and the right to choose their own representatives instead of state-sanctioned unions seen as subservient to management.
The strike continued at the plant on Saturday with workers saying management had not agreed to their wage demands. Dozens of police were at the scene but there were no clashes.
"We are still on strike because we haven't got a fixed conclusion yet. We were supposed to have a meeting today with the management, but the workers didn't want to go in because they were scared that the security guards would lock them in the factory," said Lin Wenwu, a 26-year-old worker.
"All the frontline staff are striking, about 1,200 to 1,300 of us," Lin said.
"We want them to increase our benefits. I don't think that's unreasonable. But the first thing they did was just to give us 100 yuan ($14.64) more to supplement our pay. The rest didn't change."
A wave of labour unrest has rippled across some foreign-owned factories in China as a new generation of migrant workers presses for more of the nation's growing wealth.
The Communist Party's propaganda department issued a gag order on May 28 forbidding mainland media from reporting on any strikes, as it fears the destabilising impact of the unrest, the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday.
The newspaper cited editors and reporters from major mainland newspapers, saying they have been banned from reporting or commenting on the latest wave of strikes.

The gag order followed days of extensive coverage by the mainland media of thefirst Honda strike in the city of Foshan, part of China's Pearl River Delta, in late May. ($1=6.832 Yuan) 
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