The executives of an electronic parts manufacturer in Shanghai, China, operated by Japan’s Shinmei Electric Co., spent two days locked in a room by employees demanding better labor conditions, including increased pay and better hours. Among the 18 managers were 10 Japanese nationals, including Shinmei Electric President Hideaki Tamura. Police intervention was needed in order to free them early Sunday morning.
Locked in two different rooms for the duration of the detainment, the executives were not even allowed to use the bathroom. Fortunately, however, the Japanese Consulate General in Shanghai has stated there were no injuries reported. President Tamura was visiting the factory on Friday morning when a strike broke out around 8:00 AM. A large group of workers surrounded the room where the executives were meeting and began restraining them. Approximately 1,000 employees were among those protesting against recently tightened working conditions.
Workers told the press that the factory’s takeover by a Chinese company had resulted in harsh fines for being late, two-minute time limits for going to the bathroom or using the telephone, and policies that would see them fired for making a mistake. More than 400 police officers were needed to break things up and free the managers. One factory employee says they used too much force in some instances, leaving some of those on strike with broken ribs or head injuries.[via SCMP]