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Thousands of shoe factory workers went on strike in China's Guangdong Province last Thursday. They're frustrated with new regulations that include drastic bonus cuts and layoffs. Sharp decrease in exports and a gloomy world economy are drastically affecting the shoe factory business.
More than 6000 shoe factory workers in China's Guangdong Province took to the streets last Thursday.
The workers from Yucheng Shoe Factory in Dongguan City were protesting against new management policies.
These include huge bonus cuts, restrictions placed on the number of toilet visits, and the dismissal of 18 middle management staff due to a drastic decrease in orders.
The strike continued for two hours. Dozens of protesters sustained head injuries after being beaten by riot police. Workers resumed their work after negotiating with the company.
A gloomy world economy coupled with higher wages and a progressively competitive business environment has caused the company to incur heavy losses—and to impose the new regulations.
But workers are feeling the pinch in their wallets. Their basic monthly pay is about 170 dollars. With extra work, they can earn up to 300 dollars a month. Without the extra work and bonuses, they could barely make ends meet.
Yucheng Shoe Factory makes shoes for New Balance. It's a subsidiary of Pou Chen Group, which produces some of the world's famous sports brands, such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok.
Reuters reported a sharp decrease in exports is affecting many factories in Guangdong Province. It's jeopardizing the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers.
The tough times have caused many factories to go broke. This year about 450 foreign companies closed in Dongguan. Others are planning to move to central and western China to take advantage of cheaper labor.