Chinese workers lock up Japanese execs in labor dispute


Posted at Jan 21 2013 10:34 AM | Updated as of Jan 21 2013 06:34 PM

SHANGHAI - Workers at a Japanese-owned electronic parts maker in Shanghai locked up around 10 Japanese executives for two days to press their demands for better pay and working conditions, releasing them early Sunday after police intervention.

Among the captives was the president of Shinmei Electric Co., the parent company of the Shanghai factory.

According to the Japanese Consulate General in Shanghai, there were no reports of injuries among the Japanese executives who were held inside the plant.

Company sources said Shinmei Electric President Hideaki Tamura was visiting the plant when a group of mostly female workers surrounded the room where the Japanese executives were meeting and held them captive.

Workers at the plant told reporters Sunday that they were unhappy about their pay and working conditions and had launched strikes to press their demands.

The workers voiced grievances against company rules setting two-minute limits for telephone calls and toilet breaks.

"Such regulations are ridiculous," one worker said.

Officials of Shinmei, based in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, said the Shanghai plant will suspend production until Tuesday.

Shanghai authorities are currently mediating the dispute.