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Workers block road in protest over pay

MORE than 400 workers blocked a road in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality in a protest over unpaid wages yesterday.

The workers from Jindi Industry Group Co, a state-owned textile company, gathered on the main road in front of the company compound in Fuling District around 8am causing traffic to be disrupted.

By midday, many of the workers had left, leaving about 100 still on the road.

On Monday night, about 300 workers blocked the same road, which connects Fuling and Fengdu, a suburban county of Chongqing.

But the protest ended after two hours because there was little traffic on the road, said Zhou, one of the protesters.

He said the aim was to attract government attention because many of the workers had not been paid for three months.

Zhou said his monthly salary was 380 yuan (US$56), which was much lower than the 560 yuan minimum standard in Fuling. "Without the meagre salary, my life becomes even more difficult," he said.

Company officials could not be reached for comment on the protests.

The Chinese textile industry has been hard hit since last year as the demand for China-made textile products had fallen sharply because of the global downturn.

The Jindi Industry Group Co was set up in 1982 and has a workforce of more than 6,500.

An official from the Fuling district government said Jindi could not afford workers' salaries. He said the district government was considering paying the unpaid wages on behalf of Jindi to ensure the workers' living standards were maintained.


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