Thursday, May 01, 2014
Yue Yuen workforce back to work
Chinese workers have returned to work after one of the country's biggest strikes ended. The dispute broke out at a facility run by Taiwanese firm Yue Yuen a supplier for Nike Inc. and Adidas AG . The Chinese company produced more than 300 million pairs of shoes last year and a reported profit of $434.8 million for 2013. The plant in Dongguan, in the southern Chinese manufacturing heartland of Guangdong Province , is one of the world's biggest shoe factories and has an estimated 45,000 workers, mostly women. Vast numbers refused to work for nearly two weeks over unpaid social security contributions. After scores of strikers were detained by police and it was claimed the government used intimidation to make the workforce reconsider. The labour force has returned after winning some small concessions through the government-linked trade union. The factory offered a living allowance of 230 yuan ($36.78), per month and promised to make up some unpaid social security payments. It was estimated the labour stoppage gas cost the company upwards of $US 60 million. China's central government has confirmed that Yue Yuen failed to pay workers' social benefits based on their actual income, and asked the shoemaker to take corrective measures to address the strike, which has already prompted Adidas to shift some of its future production elsewhere.