About 400 workers at the Hi-P International electronics plant in Shanghai went on strike for a seventh straight day Tuesday after their negotiations with company heads to avoid mass layoffs failed yet again. The Chinese blog Shanghaiist reports that the strike is only the latest in a growing number of labor disputes in the country.

Striking workers block the entrance gate of the Hi-P International factory in Shanghai on Monday. (CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS)

One protester from Sichuan told the The South China Morning Post:

Most of us have been working at this factory for many years, so we should be properly compensated if they want to break our contracts. We work long shifts, sometimes over 20 hours. Even with a company shuttle bus, the new factory will mean an hour and a half's travelling every day, so we won't have any time left to rest.

Hi-P International’s executive chairman, Yao Hsiao Tung, said that the company had no alternative but to move the factory and that it wants “to resolve [the situation] as quickly as possible and according to the law.”

Reuters reports that factory towns in China have seen an escalation in strikes this year because of slowing orders from the West and pressure for pay increases.

Strikers have refused to sign agreements under which their jobs would be terminated by year’s end with no compensation.

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