Production resumes at Toyota's supplier after strike

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Workers went back to work Sunday morning at a Toyota parts supplier in north China's Tianjin Municipality, ending a three-day strike for higher pay, local authorities said.

Workers at the No. 2 plant of Toyota Gosei (Tianjin) Co. (TG) in the Dongli Economic Development Area -- which has more than 30 Toyota suppliers -- refused to work Thursday and demanded higher pay, forcing the plant's production line to shut down.

TG and the workers reached a deal at around 5 p.m. Saturday, according to a statement emailed to Xinhua by the city government's information office Sunday.

However, the statement did not detail the terms of the deal.

According to a worker surnamed Zhao, production resumed Sunday at 9 a.m. after TG promised an extra 200 yuan (29.3 U.S. dollars) full-attendance bonus per month. The workers' had demanded a 20-percent pay increase.

The plant has more than 1,300 workers earning an average monthly wage of about 1,500 yuan (220 U.S. dollars).

"I'm not sure the back-to-work thing is temporary or that all of us have already totally accepted TG's offer," said Zhao.

Workers planned and called for the strike in early June over the Internet. The company had agreed to raise workers' wages by 17 percent before the strike.

The company usually raises wages by 15 percent every year.

TG Tianjin, established in 1995 with registered capital of 200 million yuan, had sales revenue of 1.53 billion yuan in 2009. It makes brake hoses, airbags, instrument panels and steering wheels.

Another TG subsidiary, Tianjin Star Light Rubber & Plastic Co. (Star Light), in Tianjin's Xiqing Economic Development Area was also hit by a strike Tuesday when more than 1,000 workers downed tools, demanding their pay be restored to its 2009 level.

On average, the workers' pay had dropped by 50 percent since early 2010, a woman employee surnamed Huang said.

The strike ended after the company agreed to the workers' demands Tuesday night. The brief strike did not disrupt Star Light's supply to Toyota's Tianjin assembly lines, a Tianjin Toyota spokesman surnamed Bi said.

The strikes at TG came after a string of walkouts by workers over pay since early May: three at Honda's auto parts plants in Guangdong; one at a parts supplier in eastern China's Jiangsu Province; and another at an industrial sewing machine company, also funded by a Japanese investor, in Xi'an, capital city of northwestern China's Shaanxi Province.


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