The New York Times and Financial Times are reporting today that workers at an IBM plant near Hong Kong have continued a strike for the fourth consecutive day.
They are protesting the sale of IBM’s x86 server business to Lenovo. Both newspapers said strike involves “more than 1,000” workers at a plant in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, which is near Hong Kong.
IBM says it hopes workers will accept the transfer. If not, they will receive a severance package.
Earlier this week, WRALTechWire reported on Chinese media and Internet videos about the protests in which workers said they faced the threat of layoffs and wanted better severance pay.
In a statement provided by IBM that was published by The New York Times and Financial Times, IBM said:
“Employees currently involved in x86 operations in Shenzhen have a personal choice of remaining with I.S.T.C. under terms
and conditions comparable in aggregate to what they currently are receiving, or they can voluntarily choose what we believe is an
equitable severance package and resign from I.S.T.C.,”
ISTC stands for International Systems Technology Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM, according to The Times.
The plant is among x86 business unit assets that are to be sold to Lenovo, which is largely based in China but operates its executive headquarters in Morrisville. IBM’s x86 group is headquartered in RTP.
The Financial Times said it contacted Lenovo about the dispute, but the company declined comment.
Both media reports said strikes in China are becoming more common against companies when operations are sold.
Lenovo has agreed to pay $2.3 billion for the server group. Government regulators must still approve the deal.
Some 7,500 IBM workers are involved in x86 production, sales and services. Of those, approximately 2,000 are based in RTP.
While the x86 story continues to evolve, IBM is in the midst of a $1 billion work force “rebalancing,” which has led to layoffs across the U.S. and numerous other countries.