Chinese IBM factory strike has workers leaving in droves

Summary:IBM's deal to sell part of its business to Lenovo hasn't been swallowed well by hundreds of workers in China.

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

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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