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Chinese IBM factory strike has workers leaving in droves

Posting in Technology

Following rows over pay, hundreds of workers have reportedly abandoned their posts at a Chinese factory owned by IBM.

As part of the tech giant's plans to sell off its x86 server business, Big Blue's factory is due to be sold to PC maker Lenovo. However, workers at the factory are less than impressed, and pay conflicts have resulted in strikes.

On March 3, approximately 1,000 workers began protesting against IBM after the firm said employees must either move to Lenovo or take a severance package. A number of employees are unhappy about the compensation -- especially to those who have worked for over a decade at the factory -- and there are concerns that Lenovo may be planning job cuts.

The strike continues based on the efforts of some staff, whereas others have either returned to work or quit entirely. One former worker, surnamed Luo, estimates that 300 -- 400 workers have left the factory, while a number have also been fired for taking part in "illegal gatherings" outside of the server factory.

The factory has remained in operation after temporary workers were hired.

In a statement, Lenovo said 7,500 IBM employees in more than 60 countries are expected to transfer to Lenovo once the sale of the x86 business is complete, and "the talent we are acquiring is a great asset, and key to our long term success. Lenovo will rely on these employees to build the business after closing and looks forward to welcoming them to Lenovo in several months’ time."

Read on: Computer World

— By on March 11, 2014, 10:17 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure