GUANGZHOU, China, July 21 (Reuters) – Workers at Japanese electronics maker Omron’s (6645.OS) southern China factory have gone on strike, the latest disruption in the manufacturing hub over demands for better wages and working conditions.
The burst of disputes that started in May has since affected more than a dozen mostly foreign-owned factories, raising questions about the region’s future as a low-cost manufacturing base.
The Omron strikers, who walked off the job on Wednesday morning, are demanding a pay raise of at least 40 percent from their current salary of 1,270 yuan, with some workers saying they want an increase of 500 yuan ($74) per month and another saying the demand is for 800 yuan more.
One of the strikers, who declined to give their names because of concerns about retribution, said the factory makes mainly switches and ignition keys for Honda Motor (7267.T), Ford (F.N), BMW (BMWG.DE) and other car makers.
A spokesman from Omron said 200-300 of its 800 workers had gone on strike at its Guangzhou plant, while workers said the number of strikers was more like 400-500.