Factory workers in a southern Chinese electronics plant downed tools on Tuesday after Beijing's anti-graft campaign deprived them of a perk that they consider less a bribe than a birthright: free mooncakes, traditionally offered by companies throughout China to reward staff on this week's moon festival holiday.
Not any more: President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign – which has targeted all forms of bribery, including the giving of mooncake boxes packed with hidden cash or adorned with precious jewels – has this year hit even the far humbler forms of pastry offered to the ordinary factory worker.
Staff at the Dongguan Masstop Liquid Crystal Display Company, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, say they went on strike after being offered only an extra chicken leg at lunch – and not a large one at that – but no mooncakes, and a sharply reduced holiday cash bonus. Local police said staff had blocked the company entrance in protest, although most had since returned to work.
"We are very unhappy," Vivi Mo, a worker at the company, told the Financial Times via Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. "We work so hard, but they treat us so badly during the festival." She said some employees, some of whom are paid as little as Rmb1,400 a month (£142), remain on strike.