Japanese execs shanghaied in Chinese labor dispute

Kyodo

Employees at an electronics plant in Shanghai who locked up about 10 of the company’s Japanese executives for two days to demand better pay and working conditions released them early Sunday after police intervention.

Among the captives was the president of Shinmei Electric Co., the factory’s parent company.

The Japanese Consulate General in Shanghai said there were no reports of injuries.

Company sources said Shinmei Electric President Hideaki Tamura was visiting the plant when a group of mostly female employees surrounded the room where the executives were meeting and took them captive.

The employees told reporters Sunday they were unhappy about their pay and working conditions and had gone on strike to press their demands. Among their more notable grievances were company rules that put two-minute limits on telephone calls and toilet breaks.

“Such regulations are ridiculous,” one worker said.

Officials of Shinmei, based in Kawasaki, said the parts plant will suspend production until Tuesday.

Shanghai authorities are mediating the dispute.