Beijing: Labour strikes seem to have returned to haunt foreign firms in China with around 1,000 workers of a Japanese-owned factory going on strike in the southern boom town of Shenzhen to protest its proposed sale.
Workers have blocked the entrance to the office building of Shenzhen Hailiang Storage Product Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, and the crowd did not disperse until night, said an official from the local publicity department.
The workers have been on strike since Sunday.
The protesters voiced fear that their interests would be compromised if the factory was sold to Western Digital, an American hard drive producer, official Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.
In March, the American company signed a pact to purchase Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.
If finalised, the merger would be completed next March, Wang Sa, a spokesman of Hailiang said.
Some workers said the merger might require the signing of a new employment contract, which they fear could eliminate their time accumulated at the company, while others suspect the factory has taken funds meant for workers.
The factory said it had reported the situation to its Japanese headquarters and would soon respond to the workers.
Local labour authorities have joined the negotiation.
Strikes were experienced for the first time at foreign firms last year, mainly focusing on demands of wage hikes.
The government had swiftly moved to settle the discontent by announcing increase in minimum wages all over the country.
First Published: Thursday, December 8, 2011, 14:14