Chinese Authorities Persuade Workers to Call Off March on Beijing  བོད་སྐད།

Chinese state media are reporting that authorities in northern China have convinced a large group of disgruntled textile workers to call off a march on the nation's capital.

On Friday, more than 1,000 workers began a 140 kilometer march to Beijing to protest the closure of their textile factory.

After marching some of the distance on foot or by bicycle, local authorities convinced the protesters to stop and provided buses to bring them back to Baoding city where the factory is located.

Xinhua says the chairwoman of the Baoding Yimian Textile Ltd.'s board of directors was suspended Saturday from her post and that an investigation has been launched into the factory's Hong Kong-based owner.

Demonstrators told the French News Agency that they are upset about a company restructuring plan that included cutting jobs and failed to offer sufficient severance pay.

Chinese export-driven industries have been hit hard by the global economic slowdown. Last month, the government said the number of unemployed migrant workers in the country had risen to 23 million.

The Chinese government is aiming for 8 percent economic growth this year, and fears that social unrest could increase if the economy flags further.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.