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Workers at Apple supplier in S. China protest cuts in mooncakes, holiday bonuses

2014-09-10 13:13 Global Times Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

Hundreds of Apple manufacturer workers from a Dongguan factory went on strike Tuesday morning to protest against their company cutting provisions of mooncakes and other festival benefits amid the nation's sweeping anti-corruption campaign.

More than 100 workers at Dongguan's Wintak LCD Co Ltd, an Apple supplier, staged a strike on Tuesday after the company failed to distribute mooncakes and around 700 yuan ($114) in holiday bonuses. They returned to work at around 11 am the same day.

The strike caused serious traffic jams before workers were persuaded to return to their duties, as the strikers blocked two nearby major thoroughfares.

"We went on strike mainly because of long-term cutbacks by the company, including cuts in both holiday and regular benefits," a worker who joined the strike who requested anonymity told the Global Times.

The promised 700 yuan holiday bonus is half of an ordinary worker's base 1,410 yuan monthly salary. The bonus was cut to 100 yuan this year.

The worker also said that regular benefits have also been cut, as the company has stopped giving out retention allowances and cut meal allowances earlier in the year.

He said most of the factory's workers stopped working on Tuesday morning, but were forced back to work by riot police at around 11 am.

The short-lived strike has yet to see any results as the company has yet to provide any concessions.

Wintak LCD Co Ltd confirmed the strike, but declined to provide further comments.

"We don't have any updates to announce at this moment," said a publicity office representative at the Dongguan Public Security Bureau.

A Monday commentary in the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China, argued that the anti-corruption regulations cannot be used as an excuse for depriving employees of legitimate benefits.

"What the anti-graft campaign is aiming at is unnecessary expenses using public money at the State-owned enterprises," Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times, adding that private companies are likely to use the campaign as the ground for cutting benefits.

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