Toyota resumes China plant output as strike ends

By Chang-Ran Kim and James Pomfret

TOKYO/ZHONGSHAN (BestGrowthStock) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: ) avoided a prolonged suspension of production at its main Chinese car factory when a strike at a plastic parts supplier was settled on Saturday.

The management offered additional benefits but no extra wage increase.

The stoppage for most of Friday at Toyota’s joint venture factory in Tianjin, near Beijing, was the latest in a series of disruptions across the country caused by labor disputes.

Widening discontent among an estimated 130 million strong pool of migrant workers, whose toil has powered China’s growth, threatens to undermine the government’s legitimacy and erode the nation’s competitiveness as a low-cost factory hub.

Toyota said its Tianjin factory, held jointly with Chinese carmaker FAW (000800.SZ: ), would resume output on Monday after the strike-hit Toyota-affiliated parts maker, Toyoda Gosei Co (7282.T: ), said it reached agreement with workers.

Toyoda Gosei spokesman Shingo Handa said workers agreed to accept management’s offer of extra allowances for perfect attendance and summer heat. This was on top of an original 20 percent wage increase following a scheduled, annual pay review.

“The settlement did not include any wage increase on top of what was originally offered,” he told Reuters by telephone.

Handa said the plant would operate on Sunday — usually a day off — to make up for the production lost late last week.

Workers at a Honda Motor (7267.T: ) auto parts plant in southern China also showed up for work on Saturday apparently ready to accept a new pay deal to resolve a week-long strike.

“We’re tired of all this tension,” said one young woman who was among hundreds streaming to work at the Honda plant.

“We just want to go back to work and see what happens.”


A Honda spokeswoman said yet another strike had hit a supplier, this time affiliate Nihon Plast Co (7291.T: ) whose plant in Zhongshan was affected on Thursday.

Production at the factory, which makes plastic parts such as steering wheels, had resumed on Friday but negotiations between workers and management are still going on, Honda said.

The Nihon Plast factory also supplies steering wheels and airbags to Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: ) but a spokesman at Nissan said there had been no impact on its car production.

China’s leaders, who are obsessed by stability but also say they can ensure a better life for those at the bottom end of an expanding rich-poor gap, have muted coverage of the unrest in state media while expressing public support for workers.

A strike also began late last week at a brewery partly owned by Danish brewer Carlsberg (CARLb.CO: ) in the southwestern city of Chongqing but the company said the workers had returned to work on Friday evening.

Stock Market News

(Writing by Melanie Lee; Editing by Nick Macfie and Robert Woodward)

Toyota resumes China plant output as strike ends