Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Strike at automotive plant reportedly halts restructuring plans

China Labor Bulletin
16 January 2012

A three day strike by several thousand workers at an automotive plant in the south-eastern province of Jiangxi has reportedly forced the provincial government to intervene and suspend plans to restructure the company.

China’s fourth largest automotive company, the Chang’an Group, based in Chongqing, had planned to transfer the vehicle production license of its subsidiary Chang He Auto in the Jiangxi city of Jingdezhen to a new joint-venture with Japanese car maker Mazda. However, the plan was not discussed with either the local government in Jingdezhen or the workers’ congress at the plant, and as such it provoked a massive worker protest when it became public knowledge.

Workers feared that the cancellation of the production license at the factory (currently joint-owned by another Japanese company, Suzuki) would lead to job losses and poorer pay and conditions.

After negotiations between Chang’an, Chang He, the provincial and municipal governments, it was agreed that there would be no major changes at Chang He at present. The company would continue to consult with the government and employees, and any major changes would have to be approved by the workers’ congress. The company stressed that if the workers had any other issues, they could communicate them through formal channels.

Some reports claimed the concessions were sufficient to end the protest, while other reports claimed many employees were still on strike.
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