More than 10,000 Chinese workers at a state-owned heavy machinery manufacturer are protesting low wages and the company's plan to lay off thousands of staff after posting losses for three straight years.

Several employees of China National Erzhong Group Co. in the southwestern city of Deyang on Wednesday confirmed the massive street protests that broke out on Monday.

They say incompetent and corrupt management of the company is behind its losses and poor treatment of employees.

Erzhong employees say they have demanded fair compensation for workers slated to be laid off and for administrative costs to be trimmed.

Calls to Erzhong rang unanswered Wednesday.

Local police confirmed the protests and said they were handling them without giving further details.