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April 22, 2014

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Shoe factory strike continues, spreads

ONE of China’s biggest strikes in years stretched into a second week yesterday, and spread from a huge shoe production complex in the southern province of Guangdong to a facility owned by the same company in the eastern Jiangxi Province.

Workers at the multi-factory Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd complex in Guangdong’s Dongguan City, that makes shoes for adidas and Nike, clocked in yesterday morning — but not for work.

Instead, they continued a stoppage over what they say is years of inadequate social insurance and housing fund contributions by the company.

In Jiangxi, 2,000 workers from a Yue Yuen factory that mainly produces shoes for adidas went on strike on Friday and kept up their action yesterday.

“We’re continuing the strike,” said a worker in Dongguan, surnamed Zhou.

“We swiped our cards and then went back (home). Other production lines in the same network are striking too.”

The strike began a week ago after the company missed a deadline to address workers’ concerns. Yue Yuen announced changes to employee benefits last Thursday to try to placate the workers and end the strike, but strikers rejected these.

Provincial, municipal and township leaders have urged Yue Yuen to resolve demands in accordance with the law, the government of Gaobu, where the Dongguan Yue Yuen complex is located, said yesterday.

Management said 40,000 people are employed there.


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