Hundreds of Chinese factory workers angry about strictly timed bathroom breaks and fines for starting work late held their Japanese and Chinese managers hostage for a day and a half before police broke up the strike.
About 1,000 workers at the Shanghai Shinmei Electric Company kept the 10 Japanese nationals and eight Chinese managers inside the factory in Shanghai from Friday morning until 11.50pm on Saturday, said a statement from the parent company, the Shinmei Electric Company, released on Monday.
It said the managers were released uninjured after 300 police officers were called to the factory.
A security guard at the Shanghai plant said on Tuesday workers had gone on strike to protest against the company’s issuing of new work rules, including time limits on bathroom breaks and fines for being late.
“The workers demanded the scrapping of the ridiculously strict requirements stipulating that workers only have two minutes to go to the toilet and workers will be fined 50 yuan (£5) if they are late once and fired if they are late twice,” said the security guard, whose surname is Feng. “The managers were later freed when police intervened and when they agreed to reconsider the rules.”
The plant makes electromagnetic coils and other electronic products. It was closed on Tuesday, said a man who answered at the plant but refused to give his name. He said workers were no longer on strike and staff would return to work on Wednesday.