11/18/2011, 00.00
CHINA
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Guangdong, thousands of workers clash with police. Ten injured

The violent protests took place yesterday in Dongguan, an industrial center. Seven thousand workers out of about eight thousand employees in the production hub, surrounded the government headquarters to protest layoffs, wage cuts and the threat of factory relocations to another region.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Thousands of workers took part in violent protests against layoffs and wage cuts in Dongguan, an industrial city in Guangdong province in southern China, according to local sources. The protests began when18 mid-level Chinese managers were fired from a Taiwanese company called Yu Cheng, which produces sports shoes on behalf of famous brands like Nike, Adidas and Balance. At the same time the company announced wage cuts for workers, and a significant reduction in orders and production bonuses.

About seven thousand workers went out on strike and staged a demonstration outside the regional headquarters of the government, demanding action from the authorities. The factory has about eight thousand employees, so the overwhelmingly majority took part in the protest. Yesterday afternoon, the demonstrators clashed with police, who were heavily deployed, and at least ten workers were injured. The workers were also protesting because the management plan to move the factory to neighboring Jiangxi, where wages are lower than in Guangdong, one of the most industrialized regions of China.

In these days, Chinese microblogs - short messages that are sent over the Internet - are full of allegations that a large number of small businesses operating in southern China are on the verge of bankruptcy due to the collapse of exports to Europe and the United States. In fact, exports, weakened by the global uncertainty of the economy, are putting at risk hundreds thousands of jobs in China. A few days ago the employees of some of PepsiCo's bottling plants have given rise to protests against an agreement under which the Tingyi, which produces beverage and noodles is set to buy the Chinese bottling industry PepsiCo which is in financial loss. The employees fear job cuts after the deal goes through.


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