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Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

As China's economy slows, workers feel the sting

As China's economy slows, workers feel the sting

Jack Shao watched as his young co-worker climbed onto the roof of their four-story factory and threatened to jump.

The worker sat on a small, decorative arch atop the pink tile building, his beige jacket stark against the blue sky. Below him, thousands of workers were gathered for a labor protest. Minutes before, they had been shouting, “Give us back our wages!” Now, they were imploring the man to step back.

It was late afternoon on a Friday, Dec. 18, and management at the G.Credit factory in Shenzhen, a huge, gritty city in Guangdong province, China's manufacturing heartland, had just informed its 2,600 employees that they wouldn't receive their monthly wages on...