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Honda workers in China reportedly end strike
Published on: 2010-06-21
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Workers at a Honda auto parts plant in southern China showed up for work on Saturday and seemed likely to accept a new pay deal to resolve a week-long strike as labor unrest continued to ripple across China.

Besides Honda, other pockets of labor strikes have emerged across China, including two strikes at a parts supplier for Japan's Toyota Motor Corp in northeastern China.

The new Honda deal was emerging after days of difficult talks between worker representatives and management. It failed to yield any further raising of base salary levels from a 200 yuan ($29) wage hike already offered and rejected by striking workers last weekend.

Despite the apparent setback, many workers at the Honda Lock plant in the Pearl River Delta town of Zhongshan appeared ready to accept the terms and put the strikes behind them.

"We're tired of all this tension. We just want to go back to work and see what happens," said one young factory girl who was among hundreds of workers streaming to work on a sunny morning.

Spreading discontent among an estimated 130 million strong pool of migrant workers, whose toil has powered China's growth, could undermine the government's legitimacy and erode the nation's competitiveness as a low-cost global factory hub.

Another dispute flared up briefly in the southwestern city of Chongqing at a brewery partly owned by Danish brewer Carlsberg.

While Honda Lock has not yet confirmed the fresh offer, one worker source said that this "final deal" had been accepted by worker representatives negotiating on their behalf.

Notices of the new deal were posted up inside the factory, workers said, announcing a 200 yuan rise in base salary levels and an 80 yuan rise in housing benefits.

Workers at the Honda Lock factory started striking last week, but agreed to resume work on Tuesday through till Friday with the understanding that management would present them with an improved deal on wages and benefits nearer to their initial calls for a 700 yuan rise in base wage levels.

The mood at the factory gates was far more relaxed than a week ago when strikers squared off with riot police at one point and tried barring other workers from going to work.

Some, however, pledged to fight on.

"There's been no progress. I don't understand why they couldn't offer us just one hundred yuan more to keep us happy," said one male worker. "I expect some will continue striking."
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