A strike at a Chinese factory that manufactures footwear for Adidas and Nike has spread to a sister factory as workers protest against what they say are unfair pay and benefits.
Around 2,000 staff at the Yue Yuen factory in Jiangxi province in southern China refused to work on Monday (April 21), joining at least 10,000 employees at another Yue Yuen factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province, who have been on strike since April 14.
Up to 30,000 workers have stopped working in the largest strike in China in recent memory, according to reports.
Chinese authorities have deployed riot police and warned strikers against gathering at the factory.
The Dongguan complex, which is operated by the Taiwan-based Pou Chen Group, has at least 40,000 employees and produces footwear for 20 brands including Reebok and Nike. The Jiangxi factory mainly manufactures shoes for Adidas.
George Liu, a spokesman for Yue Yuen, told Chinese media the firm had offered to raise workers’ living allowance at its southern Chinese factories by 230 yuan (£22) a month, beginning on May 1. It also promised to introduce a social security benefit plan next month.
The workers fear the factory may close as international companies have begun moving their manufacturing to lower-cost countries as wages in China continue to increase.