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About 4,000 workers in China's southern manufacturing hub of Shenzhen went on strike over the weekend. Labor disputes have been growing across China's manufacturing industry, as workers become more active in asserting their rights.
Employees of the Sanyo Electric Company plant in Shenzhen City, in China's Guangdong Province walked out on their jobs last Saturday. It's the latest strike to grip China's southern manufacturing hub in recent months.
The workers were demanding compensation after the operations at the Japanese owned electronics maker integrated with Panasonic Corporation this month. About 4,000 employees blocked a local intersection for several hours after leaving the plant.
[Shenzhen Public Transport Staff]:
"Sanyo employees blocked the road during the strike. There was police and city patrol there. Our car's been blocked, we saw they were protesting over there."
Clashes reportedly broke out after authorities called the police and military to contain the protest. Four people were detained, but have since been released.
The Sanyo strike comes after several large-scale demonstrations earlier this month. Guangdong-based rights lawyer Tang Jingling says it shows a growing public awareness.
[Tang Jingling, Chinese Rights Lawyer]:
"Just at the start of 2012, we've seen a series of sizeable social demonstrations. I see this as a good development. The Chinese public is becoming increasingly capable of expressing their demands, and dare to stand up to oppression and injustice."
One day before the strike at Sanyo, 2,000 autoworkers in southern Jiangxi Province protested on Friday, also over compensation and benefits.