2010/07/22

Honda says strike at China parts supplier over

BEIJING, July 22, 2010 (AFP) - A strike at a Honda parts supply factory in southern China has ended after more than a week of work disruptions, the Japanese automaker said Thursday, adding that production remained unaffected.

The strike was the latest in a series of walkouts by Chinese factory workers -- many at foreign-invested firms -- over pay and conditions in the so-called "workshop of the world".

Honda, Japan's number two automaker, said last week its sales had fallen 2.7 percent year-on-year in June after its China operations were crippled in recent weeks by work stoppages.

The stoppage at a unit of Atsumitec, which supplies gear shift levers for Hondas made in China, began on July 12.

"We have heard (from Atsumitec) that the strike is over," a Honda spokesman in Japan told AFP.

"What we can say is that all assembly plants are operating as usual," he added, declining to elaborate further.

Officials at Atsumitec Co -- 48 percent owned by Honda -- were not immediately available to comment.

Workers were seeking a pay rise of 500 yuan (73.70 dollars) per month, Xinhua news agency reported previously, but it was not clear if their demands had been met or when the workers had resumed their duties.

A separate strike that began Wednesday at an electronic components factory owned by Japanese firm Omron Corp also had not disrupted Honda's production, the spokesman said.

Honda president Takanobu Ito apologised Tuesday about the "commotion" created by the strikes.

"What we have discussed within Honda is that employees and the local management did not have enough communication," he told reporters in Tokyo.

"There are lessons to be learnt from the China case -- we need to have good communication.... It is an area we need to work on (and) measures have been introduced at the management level."