A Shenzhen court is expected to decide soon whether a South Korean-owned wig factory should pay compensation for allegedly subjecting 56 female workers to strip-searches. The case hit the headlines after the workers petitioned the local Government and sued the Shenzhen Baoyang Industrial Corporation for humiliating them on July 30 after the company accused the women of stealing hairpieces. The search failed to produce any evidence against the women, who also claimed the company had planned to sack them. The workers, mostly from outside Guangdong, are demanding 30,000 yuan (HK$28,200) each in compensation for psychological damage and 2,000 yuan for other losses. They claim they have been under massive psychological pressure since being humiliated. They also accuse the factory of trying to dock seven days' pay after the incident. The plaintiffs refused to settle the dispute, although the Korean company has offered an apology. The China Daily yesterday reported the factory was willing to pay only 4,000 yuan to each worker. The case has attracted widespread attention from the media and more than 30 organisations across China sent reporters to cover the hearing in Shenzhen Longgan District Court on Friday, according to the Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News. Most Guangdong newspapers gave sensational coverage to the misery of the workers, who said they were fighting to regain their dignity. But during the court hearing, both sides gave different versions of what happened. The workers claimed they were strip-searched over 70 minutes, while the factory managers said they conducted body searches without requiring the workers to undress. They said the search took 10 to 15 minutes and involved only 52 workers. Chinese employees who testified in support of management were criticised by the workers, many of whom wept during the trial. The South Korean Embassy has sent a representative to investigate the case.