UPDATE: Strike Ends At Omron Factory In China

Production at Japanese auto parts plant in China returned to normal after the company agreed to raise striking workers' wages, the latest in a string of labor disputes.

TOKYO (AP) -- Production at a Japanese auto parts plant in southern China returned to normal late Wednesday after the company agreed to raise striking workers' wages — the latest in a string of labor disputes to hit foreign companies in the country.

Some 300 workers walked off the job at Omron Corp.'s factory in Guangzhou early Wednesday, forcing the company to halt some production.

"The strike is over as the two sides agreed on wage conditions. The striking workers agreed to return to work," said Omron spokesman Tsuyoshi Numata from the company's headquarters in Kyoto, western Japan.

Numata declined to give details of the pay hikes or reveal worker's current salaries. Workers were demanding Omron raise their monthly salaries by 500 yuan ($74).

The Chinese plant, which makes auto parts including window switches, operates 24 hours a day. Numata said production at the factory, which employs 800 workers, returned to full capacity late Wednesday.

Numata wouldn't say which automakers the company supplies with parts.

Employees at dozens of foreign factories in China have walked out in recent months for higher pay. China froze government-mandated minimum wages in 2008 to help companies ride out the global crisis but now that the economy and exports are rebounding, workers want a share of the higher revenues.

China's communist government normally prohibits protests but has allowed the strikes, many of them at foreign-owned companies, apparently trying to put more money in Chinese workers' pockets as part of efforts to boost consumer spending and reduce reliance on exports to drive economic growth.

Auto giants like Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. have repeatedly halted production at assembly plants in China since mid-May after parts suppliers were hit by strikes for higher wages.

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