SHANGHAI (AP) -- Honda Motor Co. says work will resume Friday at two car assembly plants in southern China that were paralyzed by a strike at a parts supplier.
Operations at the two joint venture plants with Guangzhou Automotive Group were not affected by a strike at another parts supplier which began Wednesday and is still unresolved, Honda said in a faxed statement.
Honda has suffered three strikes in China in less than a month. An earlier one, which ended last week, lasted two weeks and forced the company to temporarily halt operations at all four of its China car assembly plants.
While strikes and other labor protests are common in China, they rarely receive much attention in the state-controlled media. Honda's woes come as China reassesses the ability of its state-affiliated labor unions -- the only ones allowed -- to handle growing discontent among young workers.
Workers at Foshan Fengfu Autoparts Co., a joint venture between Honda subsidiary Yutaka Giken Co. and a Taiwanese partner, walked off the job earlier this week, seeking pay raises, just days after Honda settled the two-week strike at a wholly owned parts supplier.
Honda on Thursday would not provide details on the agreement reached with the workers.
Foreign companies that rely on China as a source of cheap labor are finding it harder to attract and keep workers, who are demanding better pay and working conditions.
Analysts said that in the case of the first two strikes, Honda was hindered by its lack of a local partner to help troubleshoot labor troubles or enlist support from city or labor authorities in forcing workers to return to their jobs.
"The first strike was in a parts factory wholly owned by Honda, which makes a lot of difference in terms of how the company is run, its corporate culture and how it treats workers," said Zhang Xin, an auto analyst at Guotai Jun'an Securities in Beijing.
"Most foreign companies still cooperate with local companies even if joint ventures are not required for parts plants, unlike car assembly plants. Honda is a rare exception," he said.
The Honda strikes followed an outcry over 11 suicides and three suicide attempts -- mostly by jumping off tall buildings -- at Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group, a contract manufacturer in China of iPhones and other name-brand electronics.
Labor activists accuse Foxconn of having a rigid management style, an excessively fast assembly line and forced overwork. The company denies the allegations, but has announced two raises for its Chinese workers. It also is installing safety nets around buildings and hiring more counselors.
Meanwhile, Japan's Brother Industries Ltd. said a weeklong strike that had stalled production at an industrial sewing machine factory in the central city of Xi'an had ended, with the workers back on the job.
The human resources manager, who gave only her surname, Ma, refused to give details about wages or the agreement that was reached.
Associated Press writers Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo and researcher Ji Chen in Shanghai contributed to this report.