Toyoda Gosei Strike in Dongli Development Zone, Tianjin

13:16 Jun 17 2010 Toyoda Gosei (Tianjin) Precise Plastic Co., Ltd. No.15 Zi Jing Road, Tianjin Airport Industrial Park Free Trade Zone, Tianjin, 300308, China

Toyoda Gosei Strike in Dongli Development Zone, Tianjin
From BBC:

Production at one of Toyota's main assembly plants in China has been hit by a strike at one of the carmaker's affiliated suppliers.

Workers at the Toyoda Gosei plant in the northern city of Tianjin went on strike over wages on Thursday.

This is the second Toyota supplier this week to be hit by strike action.

Another of Japan's big carmakers, Honda, was forced to halt production last week at two assembly plants in China after workers went on strike.

"All three assembly lines of Tianjin FAW Toyota have been suspended since midday on Friday," said Toyota spokeswoman Mieko Iwasaki.

A spokesman for the Toyoda Gosei said the company was still negotiating over pay and did not know when production would resume.

The latest walkout follows a strike at another plastics plant that supplies Toyota in Tianjin earlier this week.

Last week, Honda production was hit by walkouts at exhaust-maker Foshan Fengfu Autoparts.

This was the second time in two weeks that its Chinese production had been hit by a walkout over pay at a local supplier.

The strikes come as labour disputes over pay are growing in number in China.

From Lance Carter:

Toyota Gosei in Dongli Development Zone, Tianjin
-strike from June 17th to June 19th.
-total of 1,300 workers employed;[1,700 workers on strike (discrepancy in statistics).
-demanded salaries be raised from an average of ¥1500 to ¥1800 (about 20%).
received ¥200 pay increase (about 13%).

From SCMP:

Labour unrest continues to spread across the mainland, with Japan's Toyota Motor dealing with a second strike this week and another Japanese carmaker, Honda, again hit by a one-day strike.

A strike may also resume at a factory that makes locks for Honda after management failed yesterday to offer the pay rise demanded by workers.

Observers say the strikes highlight the broader demand for wage increases from mainland workers, who have long been underpaid and overworked.

The central government has long been aware of the potential danger posed by discontent among its 130 million-strong migrant workforce, but it is reluctant to allow independent trade unions because of fears that they could challenge party rule.

Workers at Toyoda Gosei, a Tianjin car parts factory affiliated with Toyota, went on strike on Thursday, and more joined in yesterday after hearing about police beating two workers on Thursday night, staff at the plant told the South China Morning Post.

'All the workers were talking about the beating incident this morning and everyone is very angry,' said a staff member, who declined to be named.

Some workers returned to work yesterday afternoon after the company denied the incident, but many remained upset and continued to strike, staff members said.

Reuters reported that a grainy video shot by a worker on his mobile phone inside the factory on Thursday night showed scuffles between police and workers, punctuated by screams of 'the police are coming'.

A Beijing-based Toyota spokesman said it was aware of the strike at Tianjin Toyoda Gosei and was monitoring the situation.

He said the strike at the component factory had not yet affected Toyota's mainland car plants.

The strike was the second to hit Toyota this week. Workers at another supplier of the carmaker, Tianjin Star Light Rubber and Plastic - also a Toyoda Gosei unit - downed tools on Tuesday but resumed production on Wednesday after the company agreed to discuss wage increases for its 800 workers.

Meanwhile, Honda was hit by another strike at its component supplier Wuhan Auto Parts Alliance in Wuhan, Hubei , on Thursday, according to a Beijing-based Honda spokesman. He said the workers returned to work by noon yesterday and the strike had not affected car production on the mainland. Ta Kung Pao reported that the strike involved 240 workers, who demanded an extra 800 yuan (HK$912) a month in pay and subsidies.

A staff member at Wuhan Auto Parts Alliance said yesterday that the company was 'trying our best to deal with the issue' although no agreement had been reached with the workers.

In Zhongshan , Guangdong, the management of a factory that makes locks for Honda cars offered workers a rise of 200 yuan in pay and 80 yuan in subsidies late last night, after six hours of negotiations.

Management had previously offered a pay rise of 100 yuan a month in wages and 100 yuan in bonuses, but most workers rejected the offer as too low.

Workers at the Honda Lock factory went back to work on Tuesday after a six-day strike, pending the result of last night's negotiations. Workers had earlier asked for a pay rise of at least 300 yuan and it was unclear whether they would accept the management offer and return to work. Workers had earlier vowed to strike again if they were unhappy with the offer.

The Honda Lock strike was Honda's third labour dispute on the mainland in a month.

Elsewhere, a short strike at Chongqing Brewery ended yesterday after talks with management, Danish brewer Carlsberg, a part owner of the plant, said, according to Reuters. But a witness said it was continuing.

The Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, called this week for higher incomes for workers to protect stability, while Premier Wen Jiabao called for better treatment of workers.

Geoffrey Crothall of the China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based workers' rights group, said the strikes showed that mainland workers had long been putting up with low wages. '[These are] just pent-up demands for higher wages - people have been having to get by on very low wages for a very long time,' he said.

Observers say it is no surprise that workers from different plants in the same industry are taking part in strikes, as they communicate with each other and naturally want to have comparable remuneration.

'Workers' most frequent complaints are their low wages and long working hours. This is what they have been saying for a long time,' said Wei Wei , founder of the Beijing-based Little Bird hotline for migrant workers.
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