Report: Chinese workers at LG factory strike

BEIJING (AP) — Some 8,000 employees of a factory in China owned by a unit of South Korea's LG Corp. over complaints about pay discrimination, a labor group said Wednesday.

Chinese employees of the LG Display factory in Nanjing, west of Shanghai, walked off the job Monday over complaints Korean employees at the factory received annual bonuses equal to one year's salary while those for Chinese workers were equal to one month's pay, the New York-based group China Labor Watch said.

Employees at the factory hung up when reporters called.

China has faced a wave of protests over the past two years demanding higher pay and other benefits as rising living costs squeeze workers. Tensions have flared as falling demand in the United States and Europe and Chinese government curbs on bank lending have prompted layoffs and pressure on remaining employees to work harder.

Communist leaders discourage independent labor activity but have allowed many recent protests, especially at foreign companies, as it prods employers to raise pay as part of efforts to boost consumer spending and reduce dependence on exports.

LG employees in Nanjing met with managers but rejected an offer to increase annual bonuses for Chinese employees to the equivalent of two months' pay, China Labor Watch said. It said they wanted "absolute equality in the bonus system."

Labor unrest also has been reported in the southern province of Guangdong, an export-oriented manufacturing center, and Shanghai, China's financial capital.

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