IBM workers in China strike to protest transfer to Lenovo

The server factory has stopped production because of the protest

Not all are fans of Lenovo's recent plan to buy IBM's x86 server business. Since Monday, close to 1,000 workers at an IBM factory in China have been protesting the proposed acquisition, fearing they may lose their jobs if the deal goes through.

IBM's x86 server factory in Shenzhen, China stopped production after most of its workers went on strike. Photos and video of the demonstrations have go online, showing the employees holding up banners stating, "workers are not property, nor slaves, please don't sell us."

The factory has about 1,200 employees, and many of them have been at the facility for years, according to one worker, surnamed Zhang. Over 500 employees have worked there for over five years, and some have even been at the plant for over a decade, he said in a Thursday interview.

But the factory's output has been dropping: In January it phased out production of its higher-end servers. Employees suspect layoffs could come. This happened once before, almost 10 years ago, when Lenovo acquired IBM's ThinkPad PC business.

"When the PC business was bought, the other workers that were once at our side are all now pretty much gone," said Zhang, who has been at the factory for over 7 years. "Now there's no one."

If the deal is completed, the factory will become a subsidiary owned by Lenovo, IBM said on Thursday. The workers can choose to either remain employed at the factory earning a comparable wage, or decide to resign and take a severance package.

"While it is entirely an individual's choice, we are hoping employees will decide to remain with [the factory]," the company said in a statement.

The workers, however, continue to strike. They demand better terms and higher compensation, citing their long years at the facility. Some workers also want health checks, after pulling long hours at the facility.

When first starting at his job, Zhang often worked seven days a week, 15 hours each day, he said. But now he works eight to 10 hours each day, he added.

The employees also wish to know Lenovo's plans for the facility, but so far the Chinese PC maker has declined to comment.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuespersonnelIBMLenovoMergers and acquisitions

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?