Industry Monitors Chinese Factory Strike

American athletic companies are monitoring the ongoing strike at the Yue Yuen factory in Dongguan, China, brand representatives said Wednesday.

Yue Yuen Holdings Inc., a Taiwan-based company that manufactures for athletic brands including Nike, Adidas, New Balance and Puma, has more than 40,000 employees in Dongguan. New York-based China Labor Watch said in a Monday statement that tens of thousands of workers at the factory were striking to protest “unpaid social insurance and housing fund payments, and improper labor contracts.”

“We will conduct a proper investigation as soon as the strike is resolved. We are closely monitoring the situation and can confirm that our supplier Pou Chen Group is in discussions with the local government to seek ways to address the concerns expressed by the workers,” said Lauren Lamkin, spokeswoman for Portland, Ore.-based Adidas America. (Yue Yuen is a subsidiary of Pou Chen Corp.)

Greg Rossiter, a spokesman for Nike, said, “We are aware of and concerned by the events at the Yue Yuen factory in Guangdong. We’re continuing to monitor the dialogue between factory management and the workers, as well as production at the factory.” (Dongguan is a major city in Guangdong province.)

Amy Dow, senior global corporate communications manager for Boston-based New Balance, said that while the company doesn’t have production at the facility, it is monitoring the situation closely.

Matt Powell, an analyst at SportsOneSource, said that given Yue Yuen’s size, the strike should have little significant effect on the market — unless it drags out.

“I don’t think it will be much of anything,” he said, noting that only one factory of many is striking. “The only really bad thing would be if it went on for months and months, and built into more factories.”

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