A labor dispute on Friday over year-end bonuses at an LCD supplier’s factory for international mobile phone producers has led to damage on production equipment, according to information from the Suzhou Industrial Park propaganda office, quoted by Shanghai’s Xinmin Evening Post online (新民日报网). Like many other factories in the Suzhou Industrial Park (苏州工业园区), Alliance Technology Co. (联建科技公司), the Taiwan-invested factory, had allegedly planned to cancel the bonuses in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis. The factory, wholly-owned by Taiwan Sheng Hua Technology Co., Ltd. (台湾胜华科技股份有限公司), in operation since April 2000, is reportedly a main supplier for the Apple iPhone‘s touchscreen, for Motorola, and Nokia.
The propaganda office’s press release states that “due to poor day-to-day administration of wages, benefits and bonuses, labor relations are currently tense. Workers from the industrial park who talked with a Xinmin Evening Post reporter said that they didn’t blame companies that didn’t pay bonuses in 2008. However, production at Alliance Technology Co. had picked up again in 2009, the staff had worked overtime, and this had led to discontent among the workforce, a foreman told the paper, which quotes statistics from China Touchscreen Net (中国触摸屏网) suggesting that Taiwan Sheng Hua Technology’s production of medium-sized and small-to-medium-sized screens had benefitted from continuous strong sales by iPhone.
A spokesperson for the company’s Taiwanese headquarters told Xinmin that according to initial understanding, conflicts concerning provident funds [such as for housing or rentals, for example - JR], pension funds, and year-end bonuses had led to the incident (事件). As in previous years, a decision about bonuses couldn’t yet be made, as the holidays were still a month away, the paper quotes the spokesperson.
The Industrial Park Administrative Committee (工委管委会), according to Xinmin, had immediately dealt with the issue and instructed the company to arrange for payment of the year-end bonuses, to address the problems reported by the workforce (针对员工反映公司日常管理中存在的诸多问题), and had also instructed the Taiwanese headquarters to send a high-ranking executive to Suzhou (此外,园区管委会还出面与公司台湾总部联系,责成即派高管来苏处置).
Some 2,000 employees were involved in the protests, according to the BBC. Several policemen had been injured when attacked with bricks. Some workers on strike had been arrested by the police.
In August, five workers were reportedly injured when cleaning LCD panels, using a cleaning agent containing hexane.
PRC, Wholly Foreign-owned Enterprise Law (Revised), Huizhou City Government, unknown date of issue.