News / Asia

Strikes, Suicides Sign of Growing Labor Tensions in China

Strikes, Suicides Sign of Growing Labor Tensions in China
Strikes, Suicides Sign of Growing Labor Tensions in China

Striking workers demanding better wages have shut down four Japanese-owned Honda Motors assembly plants in southern China.  The dispute comes as Honda sales recorded a 30 percent jump in sales in China in four months of this year, to 219,514 vehicles.

Company officials say they hope to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.

Strikes are rare in China, largely because laws are not clear about the right to strike for better working conditions or pay.

"Strikes are not illegal nor are they completely legal. There's no right to strike in the Chinese constitution," said Jeffery Crothall, who is with the China Labor Bulletin in Hong Kong. "That was removed from the constitution in 1982 but it's not illegal to strike. It's a grey area.


But, he adss, unions are weak and are not independent, which helps make strikes rare.

"There's only one union, the government's All-China Federation of Unions, and every enterprise union has to be affiliated to it and they are heavily influenced by management. I can't think of one trade union branch in a factory in China that really whole heartedly represents the interest of workers," said Crothall.

In another sign of labor troubles, a worker at the world's largest electronics maker, Foxconn, attempted suicide Thursday, the third unsuccessful attempt this year. 10 workers at the factory in southern China have taken their own lives this year.

Crothall believes the suicides at Foxconn contrast greatly with the collective action of Honda workers.
He says this reveals the inconsistency in management skills in Chinese factories and is the result of the lax laws governing workers rights and unionism.

Foxconn, a Taiwan company, manufactures mobile phones and electronic equipment for top brands including Dell computers and Apple. Its employs more than 400,000 people at its plant in Shenzhen.

It has been criticized in the past for its military-style discipline, long hours and low pay.

The Chinese media has been reporting about the Honda strike and the Foxconn suicides, but is banned from reporting about labor action at domestically owned companies.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid