Jianlong Steel Holding Company official Chen Guojun, who earned over 3 million yuan the previous year, planned to take over the majority state-owned Tonghua Iron and Steel Group. He announced plans to cut the number of workers from 30,000 down to around 5,000, with those made redundant receiving around 200 yuan in compensation. The firm was still profitable, but the planned restructuring was aimed at increasing profits further amidst a global economic downturn.
Outraged, the workers shut down production and rioted, beating Chen, blocking roads and smashing police cars to prevent police and ambulances from reaching him.
The sale was subsequently scrapped.On this day, 24 July 2009, 3,000 steel workers in Tonghua, China rioted and beat an executive to death when threatened with privatisation and job losses.