Strike at Honda supplier plant ends with deal

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, June 9, 2010
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Two hundred workers at a Honda Motor supplier's factory in south China ended a two-day strike on Tuesday night after reaching agreement with the company management.

By 11 p.m. Tuesday, workers at the Foshan Fengfu Autoparts Co. Ltd. had completely dispersed from the strike location at the company's plant in Foshan City, Guangdong Province, local government sources said.

It was the second strike to hit Honda among its suppliers in China's manufacturing hub of Guangdong over pay.

Fengfu, a joint-venture between a Honda subsidiary and Taiwan's Moonstone Holding Ltd, supplies Honda vehicles with mufflers and other exhaust system parts. It employs 489 workers in its plant in Foshan.

Under the agreement, Fengfu agrees to draw up plans for wage adjustments in ten days and promises not to fire any worker who participated in the strike, government sources said.

Zheng Niansheng, an official from Chancheng District of Foshan, told Xinhua a team composed of 20 local officials, trader union leaders and others were sent to the factory on Monday as mediators. They helped the company managers and workers reached agreement on Tuesday afternoon.

Honda announced earlier Tuesday that production would be suspended at Guangqi Honda's factories on Wednesday due to a shortage of supply.

It remains unknown when the production would resume since the strike ended.

As agreed upon, Fengfu will also extend the contracts of its workers for at least one year after it expires.

Fengfu also agrees to pay its workers at standard rates for a five-day production halt caused by a weeks-long walkout at another Honda supplier based in Foshan.

Workers at the Honda-controlled Honda Auto Parts Manufacturing Company went on strike on May 17, demanding a pay increase of 800 yuan a month. The strike ended in early June with a wage increase for striking workers.

A local trade union official said earlier that the average wage of striking workers was 1,200 yuan a month, slightly higher than the local average, but far below the workers' expectations.

Strikes at Honda's suppliers came at a time labor issues were under heightened public concerns over a series of suicides at a world leading IT components manufacturer's sprawling plant in Shenzhen, Guangdong.

Foxconn, which supplies Sony, Apple and Nokia, was forced to give a dramatic wage hike -- nearly 70 percent -- to some of its 400,000 assembly line workers in Shenzhen. Ten Foxconn employees jumped to their deaths so far this year.

Angry protesters have rallied on the streets of Hong Kong and Taiwan to boycott Apple iphones, claiming Foxconn factory employees must endure sweatshop-like working conditions, an allegation repeatedly denied by Foxconn management.

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