Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chinese labor markets waking up

This could be big--or maybe the Chinese government will crush the workers.
Dozens hurt in China labour unrest
By Susan Stumme (AFP) 
BEIJING — Dozens of striking workers have been hurt in clashes with police in China as a fresh labour stoppage again halted Honda's production Wednesday, in the latest unrest to rock the "workshop of the world".
The latest labour action, which came after a spate of suicides at Taiwanese high-tech firm Foxconn, again drew attention to what activists say are the difficult conditions and low pay faced by millions of Chinese factory workers.
The clashes on Monday at a Taiwan-funded rubber factory in the eastern province of Jiangsu marked the first time in recent days that disputes over salaries erupted in violence, with state media saying 50 workers were hurt.
Some 2,000 workers at the KOK Machinery factory in the city of Kunshan outside Shanghai walked off the assembly line, demanding better pay and an improved working environment, the China Daily reported. more

Honda Plants in China to Stay Shut Tomorrow as Strikes Spread 
June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co., Japan’s second- largest carmaker, will keep two factories in China closed tomorrow as its production in the country was disrupted by strikes for the second time in less than a month.
The car-assembly plants in Guangzhou, Guangdong province will be closed for a second day after employees at a parts supplier stopped work demanding higher pay, said Natsuno Asanuma, a spokeswoman at Honda in Tokyo, where the company is based. Another supplier in Guangdong halted production today because of a strike, said Gao Xia, a Honda spokeswoman in Beijing.
Workers at Foshan Fengfu Autoparts Co. in Foshan, Guangdong, began striking June 7, a week after Honda raised wages by 24 percent at a separate parts maker to end a walkout that shut down production at its four Chinese car-assembly factories. The disruptions reflect pressure for higher pay in southern China, where Foxconn Technology Group said this week it will more than double salaries for its lowest-paid plant workers.
“The first strike at Honda was a breakthrough,” said Long Ke, a senior fellow at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo. “Workers at other automakers may also make demands for higher pay, although it hasn’t surfaced yet.” more

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