The BBC reports that workers beat a manager to death during the riot at a steel plant in Tonghua:
About 100 people were hurt in violence in the north-eastern city of Tonghua after workers heard that Jianlong Steel would buy a majority share.
They were reportedly frustrated at financial problems during Jianlong Steel’s temporary control last year.
Jianlong general manager Chen Guojun was beaten to death, the group said… (The Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy) reported that Mr Chen was paid about three million yuan ($440,000) last year, while Tonghua’s retired workers received as little as 200 yuan a month… The Tonghua workers also reportedly blocked highways and smashed three police vehicles in Tonghua city, the centre said.
Update: China Daily has published an official version of events:
The brawl broke out after Tonghua workers were told to expect job losses during a meeting with a delegation from Jianlong Steel, a privately owned firm based in Beijing.
It was the second time Jianlong had launched a takeover bid for the State giant and many feared the company planned to drain State assets before following up with cost-cutting measures, including redundancies.
“Employees (many of whom are shareholders) are close to enjoying financial gains as the price of steel continues to rise,” said a police officer that identified herself only as Wang.
“Then, Chen disillusioned workers and provoked them by saying most of them would be laid off in three days.
Read also a report from the New York Times.