BEIJING (AP) -- Hundreds of workers at a textile factory in southern China blocked roads Tuesday, in a second day of protests over unpaid wages, an employee said.
The protests come as a collapse in demand for Chinese exports has closed factories and wiped out at least 20 million jobs. Communist leaders worry that more job losses and unpaid wages could result in mass protests.
More than 400 employees at the state-owned Jindi Industry Group Co. in the suburban district of Fuling in Chongqing city took to the streets for the second day, complaining they have not been paid for nearly three months, said an employee at the company, who would give only his surname, Wang.
The workers blocked a main road and disrupted traffic in front of the company offices in hopes of attracting government attention and getting back pay of $56 per month, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
On Monday, about 300 protesters blocked the same street for about an hour, Xinhua reported, but did not give further details.
Calls to the Chongqing Police Bureau rang unanswered Tuesday.
Jindi, which employs 6,500 people, cannot afford to pay its employees because demand for China's textiles has fallen sharply during the financial crisis, Xinhua said, citing a local government official.
The Fuling government has considered offering financial aid on behalf of Jindi to the workers, Xinhua reported, citing a Fuling government official.
In neighboring Hunan province, hundreds of taxi drivers resumed work Monday following violent riots over rising taxi fees that led to 11 people being detained over the weekend.
China's textile exports have been languishing since last year due to falling demand from Europe and the U.S. The central government has reduced exporters' tax burdens, adding to efforts to spur economic growth following the release of a $586 billion stimulus plan.
In early April, about 1,000 textile factory workers from the Baoding No. 1 Cotton Textile Factory in China's northern Hebei province marched in protest over job cuts, corrupt management and inadequate pay, Xinhua reported.
China's textile and garment exports dropped to $6.68 billion in February, a 35 percent decrease from the same month a year ago, according to the General Administration of Customs.