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China strike hits Japanese electronics plant
Published on: 2010-07-01
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Workers at a Japanese-owned electronics factory in northern China have been on strike for two days, extending the ripple of industrial unrest that has hit manufacturers, China's official news agency said on Wednesday.

The strike at the Tianjin Mitsumi Electric Co. factory, with 3,000 workers in the port city of Tianjin, follows weeks of stoppages by Chinese workers demanding higher wages and better conditions from car parts makers and other firms, especially Japanese companies with operations in China's south.

Mitsumi Electric makes electronics components. The report from China's Xinhua news agency did not specify whether the company owns the factory in whole or in part.

Workers at the factory in the Dongli District of Tianjin, a near Beijing, stopped work on Tuesday afternoon, demanding wage rises and improved benefits, said the Xinhua report.

"We want a pay rise" and "We want fair treatment" said handwritten posters stuck to factory walls by workers, said the report.

The report did not say what level of pay rise the striking workers were demanding. One worker told Xinhua that he received 1,500 yuan (USD 220) a month after working two hours of overtime every working day and also working on Saturdays.

Calls to the factory office rang unanswered on Wednesday evening.

Labour costs in China have been rising, partly encouraged by a government that wants to turn farmers and workers into more confident consumers.

But the continued strikes could become a worry for the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which fears public discontent that could erode its authority and alarm investors.

The strikes earlier disrupted production at auto makers Toyota and Honda, and have laid bare the rising demands of China's 150 million migrant workers, especially younger workers seeking a firmer foothold in urban prosperity.

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