16,000 Chinese workers strike over holiday benefits

Updated: 2014-09-11 00:39


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GUANGZHOU - About 16,000 workers at two subsidiaries of a Taiwanese Apple supplier in south China's Guangdong Province went on strike Wednesday in protest over holiday benefits.

About 8,000 workers at Dongguan Masstop Liquid Crystal Display Co., Ltd., run by Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Wintek Corporation, halted work for a second day.

The strikers blocked roads outside the factory on Tuesday, a day after they received much lower cash bonuses for the Mid-Autumn Festival than expected.

The festival, which fell on Monday this year, is an important traditional holiday for family reunions in China.

The strike spilled over into Wednesday, with 8,000 workers at Wintek (China) Technology Ltd, another subsidiary also in Dongguan, joining the action.

Some workers walked out of the factory and attempted to block a nearby highway connecting Dongguan with Shenzhen.

Workers said recruitment advertisements offered cash bonuses equal to half of their monthly base salary on three festivals: the Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and Spring Festival.

A worker surnamed Zhang told Xinhua that the staff each received 700 yuan (114 U.S. dollars) in cash and a box of mooncake on Mid-Autumn Festival last year.

The worker, who earns about 3,000 yuan a month with overtime, said they only received a cash bonus of 100 yuan, a chicken leg and a banana this year.

"The holiday benefits promised in the advertisements must be met, or we will continue our strike," said the worker.

Lin, a manager with Dongguan Masstop, said the holiday benefits are not listed in the labor contracts and the employer can have a say in the amounts.

The company is currently in difficulties and it is not illegal to cut holiday benefit, said the manager, adding that the firm will work with local authorities to settle the dispute.