Chinese factory denies lay-offs

Further turmoil in China, where a manufacturer has denied reports that it has laid-off 6,000 people.
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Xu Guozhu, chief administrative officer for the Zhongshan plant of Hong Kong Sewco International Holdings Limited, said the payroll had 12,400 staff in September and 12,509 in August.

The company, based in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, has 12,800 registered staff and produces toys for Mattel and Disney.

A report by National Business Daily on Tuesday claimed it had cut the workforce from 9,000 to about 3,000 due to a sharp fall in orders.

"The National Business Daily reporters did not come to the company at all, nor did they speak to us," said Xu. "I really do not know how this report came about."

He admitted the company had suffered temporary losses in the first half due to an increase in materials and labour costs, but business had been booming in the second half.

In September, the company exported toy products worth $11m, 20 per cent more than the same period last year.

Established in 1986, the company reported total exports of almost $100m, or one fifth of Zhongshan City's toy exports.

More than 7,000 workers lost their jobs after two factories closed in Dongguan City, Guangdong, on October 15th as the global economic slowdown took hold. The factories were part of the Smart Union Group.

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