Update on the labour unrest at Gold Peak’s JetPower Plant in Shenzhen

Press Release

Two women workers are staging a sit-in after JetPower management enforce mandatory long term leave.

On 21 April, JetPower deployed more than fifty security guards to ensure that their goods were able to leave the factory. The security guards joined with fifty policemen to overwhelm the workers picket of the factory gates and at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, trucks carrying factory products roared out of the factory. The factory management stated that ‘If it wasn't for Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s official visit to Shenzhen, we would have taken action to break the picket earlier in the day. We were afraid that the workers would use the Prime Minister's presence in the city to create an incident so we waited until the late evening before moving the trucks out.'
The workers resumed normal working the following day, 22 April. However, factory management maintained a heavy security presence near the factory's industrial lifts in case workers decided to block the lift doors in order the movement of machinery and goods around the plant. In the morning of the same day, management met with workers with excessive level of cadmium. At the meeting they guaranteed workers a monthly nourishment allowance of RMB 300 until such time as tests demonstrated the absence of cadmium in their bodies. Management also stated that they would add an extra RMB2.5 million into the compensation fund under the management of the Shenzhen government and labour bureau in order to meet legal standards of compensation for occupational disease.

On the 23 April, workers with excess levels of cadmium blocked the factories industrial lifts to try and stop the movement of machinery. In response, management orders security staff to surround the workers and prevent them from picketing the lift doors. The workers were effectively detained by security for some time and not allowed to use the lavatory. As a result, Ms. Li developed stomach pains and asked to be allowed to use the toilet but her way was physically blocked by a guard who used his arm to stop her leaving the scene. This action caused Ms. Li to be struck in the mouth and suffer a loose tooth. Another worker, Ms. Zhong developed headaches and dizziness after the scuffle. In desperation, the workers called the police who ordered the security staff to allow Ms. Li and Ms. Zhong to leave the premises and see a doctor. Following examination, Ms. Zhong was diagnosed with internal head injuries. JetPower management stated that they would take Ms. Li to see a doctor the following day, April 24.
However, this morning, April 24, JetPower management accused the two women of actions that have caused serious economic losses to the company. The workers have been placed on indefinite mandatory leave until further notice. Management stated that their wages will be paid in accordance with the labour law. The workers have appealed to Hong Kong labour groups for assistance and requested that the media continue to monitor their plight.