Thursday, July 01, 2010

[olympiaworkers] 3,000 strike at electronics factory in China Jul 1 2010

Production at the Tianjin Mitsumi Electric Co. factory in North China has
been crippled by strike action by workers.

The Japanese-owned plant employs 3,000 workers, and production was
completely halted earlier this week. The workers, many of whom are
economic migrants from rural China, hung banners on the factory gates
reading "Human traffickers are not welcome", "We want fair treatment", and
"We want a pay rise."

There were violent scenes at the factory gates as police attempted to
prevent journalists from talking to strikers, who had taken up positions
inside the factory complex. Police also used coaches to seal the site from
the view of press cameras. The increasing levels of industrial unrest in
China have been barely reported, and are subject to state censorship.

The walkout follows a wave of strike action in China, in the face of
investors making the most of low wages, a ruling Communist party which has
outlawed strikes, and official unions which violently suppress strike
action. Foreign companies with complex supply chains, such as Japanese
giants Honda and Toyota have recently seen production halted by workers'
struggles, as have US-based companies such as Ingersoll-Rand Plc, which
manufactures air-conditioning units. It follows growing numbers of what
the Chinese government calls "mass incidents" as workers grow in
confidence and assert their interests.

The strike by 1,900 workers at a Honda parts factory in Foshan, which also
saw clashes, ended following employers conceding a pay rise of 24 per
cent. A three-day strike by Toyota workers in Guangzhou also ended

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