Workers strike for ‘mooncake’ bonus at Guangdong subsidiary of Apple supplier

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 September, 2014, 7:41pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 September, 2014, 3:11pm

A day after the Mid-Autumn Festival, hundreds of workers from Dongguan Masstop, a subsidiary of Apple supplier Wintek, went on a strike to demand their holiday reward: mooncakes and a holiday bonus.

On Tuesday morning around 9 o’clock, workers blocked roads near the factory to stage a protest, returning to the factory two hours later.

The Southern Metropolis Daily reported that workers took to the street because the company refused to give them mooncakes as a gift and pay them a 600 yuan holiday bonus.

In its recruitment information online, technology supplier Dongguan Masstop pledged a 600 yuan bonus be paid to employees during the Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and Spring Festival holidays, depending on the company’s financial health.

But workers failed to receive any special payment for this year's Mid-Autumn Festival.

The company did not specify the reason for not paying the bonus.

“Workers may have misunderstood the company’s welfare policy,” a staff member of the parent company Wintek said during a telephone interview with the Post on Wednesday.

“Masstop would only hand out bonuses if the company is making profit this year,” he said.

The staff member said he did not know if any agreement with the workforce had been reached, but the workers returned to work on Wednesday.

Calls to Dongguan Masstop were picked up by a staff, who said the media person was occupied and unavailable for comment.

Gongguan Masstop is fully owned by manufacturer Wintek Corporation and started operations in 1995. It manufactures and sells liquid crystal modules (LCM), liquid crystal displays (LCD) and touch-screen panels.

Wintek operates production lines in Taiwan, China and Vietnam, but only its Suzhou factory is listed as an Apple supplier.

Masstop was believed to have supplied products to Apple in the past, but Wintek said there was no ongoing trading relationship.

“Masstop has little to do with Apple”, the Wintek staff member said. He declined to tell the Post who the company was making components for, citing confidentiality reasons.

Apple disassociated itself from Masstop in 2009 when the company suffered from a labour dispute that led to a mass strike, according to reports from news website Globalpost.

Last Thursday, two US-based NGOs accused a Chinese firm owned by Apple’s Taiwan supplier Catcher Technology of labour violations by forcing its employees to work overtime.

Apple launched its new iPhone 6 and a smartwatch on Wednesday.