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China

Sinovel faces worker unrest over 'forced vacation' extension

CHINA: Sinovel is to extend the number of workers put on 'forced vacation', according to reports in the Chinese press.

Sinovel gave no indication of where the cuts would come, althoug it would affect parts of the company that were under capacity
Sinovel gave no indication of where the cuts would come, althoug it would affect parts of the company that were under capacity
Last month, it was revealed Sinovel has asked 350 staff (12% of its total number of employees) to take leave on reduced pay from 15 November. However, this figure has risen to 407 (14%) and may rise further.

When the decision was announced, the turbine manufacturer said it was due to falling demand in the Chinese wind sector. It also effects all departments.

Sinovel said atthe time it would pay the 350 staff, who work in posts that are running below capacity or have stopped production, the promissory wages as stipulated in the labour contracts according to  national and Beijing municipal regulations.

From the second month it will pay 80% of the minimum wage of Beijing city as basic living expenses. Sinovel would continue to pay the workers' basic social insurance and housing costs.

However, according to a report in the Chinese press there are no indications as to when the workers will be allowed to work again.

The prospect of spending months on the minimum wage has not gone unanswered by Sinovel workers, who staged a protest outside the company's Beijing headquarters last month.

Like many Chinese manufacturers, Sinovel has struggled as the Chinese government has attempted to regulate the expansion of the country's wind capacity and focus on grid connections.

Moreover, Sinovel is also in the midst of a legal battle with former supplier AMSC. The US company is seeking multi-million dollar damages from Sinovel over an alleged theft of AMSC's intellectual property.

Coincidentally, last month AMSC announced that it was cutting 100 staff (25%) from its workforce as a result of market conditions.

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