Thousands of workers in Dongguan, Guangdong Province staged a massive strike against new regulations imposed by their factory management on Thursday. Thousands of workers besieged their factory in Dongguan’s Huangjiang Township and blockaded the town’s main road. At one point, protesters were said to have numbered over 10,000. Conflicts broke out between riot police and protesting workers as the police tried to prevent workers from approaching the government building. Dozens of workers reportedly suffered head wounds after they were beaten by riot police.
The strike lasted about 2 hours, and now workers have returned to the factory.
The factory involved is “Yucheng Shoe Factory” (裕成鞋厂) which makes shoes mainly for New Balance. Its parent company is Pou Chen Group (宝成工业集团), which provides OEM services to top global sports brands such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok.
Tough regulations led to the strike
According to Radio France International, the riot erupted due to the widely-condemned new regulations set by the factory management, which even imposes restrictions on toilet visits.
According to Nanfang Daily, a paper which is under the purview of the Guangdong Communist Party Committee, the new rules axed all bonuses regardless of worker performances for as long as the factory was suffering losses.
Southern Metropolitan Daily added that the factory cancelled all extra working hours, which means a significant decline in worker wages.
A female worker tells the press that she and her husband used to work extra hours even on weekends and each could earn 1,800 to 1,900 yuan per month. Without extra work and incentive bonuses, they each could only earn around 1,100, which is barely enough to feed the family.
According to Dongguan Times, these regulations have been scrapped.