Some 200 workers laid off by Guangzhou Iron & Steel Enterprises Group staged a protest to demand housing subsidies. They first gathered outside a factory office building at 9am yesterday, but their request for talks was rebuffed, so at noon they moved to the plant's main entrance, where they drew 1,000 onlookers. The state-owned enterprise said in May that 483 of more than 2,000 workers laid off about a decade ago were not qualified to receive the subsidies. But the workers say the Guangzhou government promised them subsidies. Several hundred policemen monitored the protest but there was no violence. It was the workers' second protest this month.