July 13th, 2012 | Global Times Lighting giant hit by general strike
China’s largest lighting company was hit by a general strike at its headquarters and 36 operation centers across the nation on Friday after the company failed to reach a consensus in a dispute over corporate control rights at an internal meeting on Thursday.
Workers at the headquarters of the Chongqing-based NVC Lighting Technology Corporation and the company’s production center in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, as well as 36 other regional operation centers nationwide went on strike on Friday morning to express their discontent over the company’s recent leadership change.
Ye Yong, manager of NVC’s operation center in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, confirmed with the Global Times that business operations had been halted in all regional operation centers including Beijing, Shanghai and Sichuan.
“Our business orders have been reduced by two-thirds. The new leaders know nothing about the lighting industry and have done nothing positive for the company,” Ye said.
Some 180 representatives of NVC employees, suppliers and dealers delivered demands to the management of the company at an internal meeting on Thursday. The meeting descended into a heated conflict soon after it started, according to caixin.com.
The demands included reinstating Wu Changjiang, the former CEO and chair of the board as well as the founder of the company, to his former position.
The management of NVC promised they will discuss the requirements and reply before August 1.
Phone calls to the NVC’s spokesman by the Global Times went unanswered on Friday.
NVC announced on May 25 that Wu had resigned from all his positions due to personal reasons. The new chairman of the board and CEO was appointed from NVC’s foreign capital investors, SAIF Partners and Schneider Electric.
There had been rumors that Wu was being investigated by the local government in May. Wu clarified on Thursday that he was only assisting government investigations into a consulting company which had a business relationship with NVC in 2009, the 21st Century Business Herald reported.
After Wu’s resignation, NVC’s business performance declined sharply, and its share price dropped 36 percent.
According to media reports, Wu arrived in Chongqing on Thursday night and disclosed that he had been forced to leave the board by investor groups.
Wu said he is very likely to return to the board and felt very sad about the negative impact brought to the company by this internal fight. Wu is currently the company’s top shareholder.
By Liu Dong