Date
25 May 2017
Police keep a watchful eye on protesters at the closed Ever Force factory in Dongguan. Photo: WSJ
Police keep a watchful eye on protesters at the closed Ever Force factory in Dongguan. Photo: WSJ

China toy factory workers protest over unpaid wages

Hundreds of workers demanding unpaid wages protested at a Hong Kong-owned toy factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province, last week after the plant closed, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Workers at Ever Force Toys & Electronics Co., a supplier to US toy giant Mattel Inc., said they started gathering Tuesday to demand three months of unpaid wages, totaling about 4.5 million yuan (US$725,000), and other benefits owed to about 700 employees.

Their protests lasted until Thursday.

Local officials offered to pay part of the owed salaries, while police broke up the demonstrations by force, workers said.

Ever Force first told employees Aug. 3 that it was shutting down because of insolvency.

The protest in Dongguan, part of the Pearl River Delta manufacturing belt, came amid worsening labor unrest in China, which researchers have blamed on a steepening economic slowdown, the report said.

The number of labor protests and strikes tracked on the mainland by China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based watchdog, more than doubled in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, partly fueled by factory closures and wage arrears in the manufacturing sector.

The group logged 568 strikes and worker protests in the second quarter, raising this year’s tally to 1,218 incidents by the end of June, compared with 1,379 incidents recorded in all of last year.

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