October 25, 2011 / 1:40 AM / 8 years ago

Japan's Citizen says China strike tapers off

TOKYO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Japan’s Citizen Holdings said on Tuesday a week-long strike over pay and conditions at a wristwatch parts plant in southern China had tapered off after negotiations between workers and management.

The strike is the latest in a series that have hit the manufacturing hub over the past year, drawing attention to runaway inflation and difficult working conditions.

Just under 1,200 people had taken part in the strike at the Shenzhen plant from Oct. 17, but this fell to between 120-150 people by Monday evening, said company spokesman Yukio Yamada.

The trigger for the strike had been the company’s decision to pay workers in a particular department on an hourly basis to bring them in line with the rest of the firm but management had now agreed to delay the introduction of hourly pay, he said.

Hong Kong media had reported workers’ assertions that some of them were beaten after they began the strike, which they said was triggered by complaints that the company docked salaries for bathroom breaks.

Yamada said some people had fallen to the ground and been injured during a standoff between strikers and other company staff on the factory premises, adding that Chinese police were now on the premises to ensure safety.

Other workers had joined the strike to protest the company’s decision last year to abolish morning and afternoon breaks and make the lunchtime break longer, he said.

Other major manufacturers that have faced labour disputes in China over the past two years include Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group, Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd .

Shares in Citizen were up 0.5 percent in early Tuesday trading, compared with a 0.2 percent fall in the Nikkei average . (Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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