Kumho official says strike 'ended'

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Kumho Tire Co has resumed operations at its plant in northeast China after workers staged a three-day strike over low wages, a company official said.

The South Korean company has featured prominently in the news following a massive product recall after state television reported that the firm, in an effort to cut costs, used more recycled rubber from semi-finished tires than was allowed at a Tianjin plant.

More than 400 workers at its plant in Changchun City, Jilin Province, agreed on Saturday to go back to work, a Kumho official surnamed Zhao at its Shanghai headquarters told Shanghai Daily yesterday. The strike started last Wednesday.

However, a report by China Business News said that workers were still on strike on Sunday.

Zhao said Kumho agreed to increase wages in all of its Chinese mainland factories but refused to reveal the amount. The company has four plants on the Chinese mainland, half of its total.

The Changchun government and its labor and public security departments were involved in negotiations between the company's management and workers. Zhao added that no "extreme incidents" occurred.

An unnamed worker at the Changchun plant told China Business News that he earned nearly 1,400 yuan (US$216) a month, which he said can hardly cover living costs for his family due to rising inflation.

The strike costs the company about 4 million yuan every day, the newspaper cited a senior company official as saying.

Kumho's sales have slowed drastically since the quality scandal broke in March.

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