China's BYD says will hire more US employees for California plant

Reuters

* Company says Chinese experts on loan to US plant

* New US workers needed as bus production starts

* Calls labor group's claims "misinformation"

* Company fined by state labor regulator-report

SHANGHAI, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett-backed Chinesecarmaker BYD Co Ltd said it would hiremore local employees at its new electric bus factory inCalifornia, its latest response to criticism that it violatedlabor rules in the United States.

BYD has temporarily loaned some Chinese engineers andexperts to transfer Chinese technology to local employees at itsLos Angeles factory and will not be displacing any Americanworkers, BYD said in a statement on Monday.

BYD plans to hire more local employees as bus productioncommences, it added. BYD currently employs about 40 localworkers at the plant.

Advocacy group Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economysaid that the carmaker had failed to pay workers therequired minimum wage and accused it of other violations. Thecompany was fined $100,000 after California authoritiesinvestigated the charges, according to a recent New York Timesreport.

BYD said last week the labor rights group spreading was"misinformation".

In the statement on Monday, BYD said it is "dedicated toensuring that its employees are treated fairly" and provideddetails of some of its workers' conditions at its factory.

BYD is stepping up efforts to sell electric vehiclesoverseas. It has signed several contracts this year, includingone to supply the U.S. cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach, andto Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

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