Honda closes four Chinese factories due to strike
Honda’s hopes in China have taken a backseat as a new labor issue is growing in the country. Honda had plans to increase sales from 630,000 units to 830,000 units in 2010, but workers have gone on strike.
Automotive News is reporting that Honda has shut down all four Chinese factories because of a labor strike. The problem arose when 1,850 Honda parts workers walked out on May 17. The walk out forced Honda to shut down two of its plants in Guangzhou on May 24. Two days later, the Japanese automaker closed another Guangzhou factory and one in Wuhan.
According to a report in Automotive News, Honda spokesperson, Yasuko Matsuura, said that the workers seek a raise of 1,500 Yuan per month to somewhere around 2,000 and 2,500 Yuan. While a big raise, the amount is still a fraction of what Honda pays its workers in more developed markets.
While sales in other markets won’t be affected, Honda sales in China could take a hit.
No word on when the workers will return, but talks between Honda and the workers are not going very well.
“Negotiations are not going very smoothly,” Yoshiyuki Kuroda, a Tokyo-based spokesman for the company, told AutoNews by phone. Fortunately for Honda, a manual transmissions line at the plant was reopened today. Honda spokeswoman Yasuko Matsuura declined to comment on whether or not Honda had reached a compromise with the workers on that particular line.