Toyota's China Car Assembly Plant Remains Idle

Operations at Toyota's plant in the southern city of Guangzhou have been halted since June 22 due to a walkout at a unit of Toyota-affiliated parts maker Denso Corp.

Toyota Motor said production at an assembly plant in southern China would remain idle for the night shift on June 23.

Operations at Toyota's plant in the southern city of Guangzhou have been halted since June 22 due to a walkout at a unit of Toyota-affiliated parts maker Denso Corp.

A Tokyo-based Toyota spokesman, Paul Nolasco, said that the automaker did not know when production at the factory in Guangdong province, China's manufacturing hub, would resume.

The disputes are the latest in a wave of labor unrest to hit foreign companies in China, which has highlighted growing discontent among millions of workers over low pay and poor conditions.

The strike at the Denso Corp. unit, which makes fuel injectors and other components, started on June 21 when more than 200 employees stopped work and demanded higher pay.

Local government and labour union officials have been sent to the factory to help resolve the dispute, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The suspension came days after Toyota resumed operations at assembly lines in the northern city of Tianjin, where production had stopped briefly due to a three-day walkout at a plant run by Toyota-affiliated Tianjin Toyoda Gosei.

Rival automaker Honda was also hit by labor unrest on June 23 when an assembly plant run by its Chinese joint venture Guangqi Honda Automobile stopped operations after strikes at a Japanese spring suspension supplier. The dispute at the NHK Spring Co factory in Guangdong province had been resolved and the Honda plant would resume operations on June 24., Beijing-based Honda spokesman Takayuki Fujii said.

Honda's auto assembly lines in southern China have been stalled several times in recent weeks because of labor disputes at its parts manufacturers.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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