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  (Source: flickr.com)
The strike ended when Jingyuan Computer Group, owner of the plant, agreed to cut overtime hours monthly

Employees at a plant in southern China, which makes certain components for Apple and IBM, went on strike this week citing a list of complaints including long working hours.

According to China Labor Watch (CLW), a New York-based non-government organization that defends the rights of workers in China, approximately 1,000 workers at the southern China plant went on strike.

The plant is owned by Taiwan's Jingyuan Computer Group, which is a supplier for Apple and IBM. The plant employs about 3,000 workers in the Pearl River Delta.

The workers went on strike due to long working hours (about 100 to 120 hours of overtime monthly), "mass" layoffs of older workers, verbal abuse from managers, and frequent work-related injuries.

Workers on strike even took their protest to a highway in Shenzhen, where they completely blocked it. Police were called to handle the situation.

The strike has since ended, but not because the police showed up. The company agreed to decrease the amount of overtime for the workers, and they agreed to compromise.

Early last year, Apple's parts supplier Foxconn faced scrutiny for its "hellish" working conditions for factory workers in China. Many were committing suicide to escape due to long working hours with brief pauses and little pay.

Source: Yahoo UK & Ireland



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Support free tade unions in China
By Tony Swash on 11/25/2011 10:29:22 AM , Rating: 4
Support free tade unions, human rights and democracy in China. It's that simple.




RE: Support free tade unions in China
By Da W on 11/25/2011 11:23:49 AM , Rating: 2
Quebec, Canada, 1930, we were there, owned by american corporations, a nation of workers with little pay for 60+ hours of work a week, coming back at home to see their wife and 11 kids living in a small appartment, eating potatoes and salted pork all winter long. By 1980 our standard of living could easily match that of Boston, Toronto or New York. (That's GDP per capita X8 in 50 years).

You all have to start somewhere. I'm confident Chineese people will take even less time than we did.


RE: Support free tade unions in China
By Iaiken on 11/25/2011 12:03:13 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I'm confident Chineese people will take even less time than we did.


I'm not so sure...

Companies like Nike, Adidas, Old Navy, etc have been shifting to suppliers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Bangladesh and other cheap labour markets almost as fast contracts in China can expire. Technology firms such as FoxConn have been replacing workers with robots at a rate of almost 1500 per day; which coincides with plans to replace the companies entire manual workforce.

The Chinese government is still not sure what to do about the resulting mass-layoffs. This also presents a golden opportunity to Western companies that specialize in automation as well as those that wish to re-enter the low-cost manufacturing market. After all, the main operating costs for such factories are energy, raw materials, local logistics and a small skilled labour force. The absence of such skilled labourers in china gives the west a competitive advantage in areas that are being automated.

The fact that this is happening in China (the world's single largest labour market) is a particularly big deal. The benefits of outsourcing are shrinking as costs rise towards a point where the problems of global logistics and lower quality are no longer being offset.

The governments in EU and the Americas are looking to increase job creation, there is an abundance of empty/underutilized factories available and workforce expectations have been largely reset. Western governments should be poised to leap upon this growing opportunity and incentivize the crap out of local companies that bring skilled manufacturing jobs back once the tipping point has been reached.


RE: Support free tade unions in China
By Da W on 11/25/2011 1:42:05 PM , Rating: 2
The whole process you're describing is called evolution.
There's a new generation of educated people in China that weren't even there 10 or 20 years ago. So even if cheap labor jobs are getting outsourced elsewhere, China got its kickstart with manufacturing, and now is progressively Designing and Creating product, not just provinding cheap labor to build occidental products.

Only obstacle to China is its own government. Then again, partisan politics can be even worst sometimes.


RE: Support free tade unions in China
By Penti on 11/25/2011 11:31:44 PM , Rating: 2
You know China doesn't exactly go backwards because we don't treat them like 1980's or 1970's manufacturing plants any more of course the companies which don't build their most advanced plants that's less advanced then domestic Chinese operations will go away. They will go away from places like Vietnam too. But Chinese companies have already begun becoming internationalized and have set up shop and manufacturing/finishing plants in EU, Mexico and so on. There's still plenty of growth left in Chinese corporations too. Local companies in the west has already gone boom and bust in most cases so theres nothing to get there.


By fteoath64 on 11/28/2011 3:33:51 AM , Rating: 2
Sure there was a move to smaller Asian countries for manufacturing to avert the China woes for some time. But the cost factor was inferior to China for many reasons.

But the world population is getting more and more educated, hence the awareness spreads very very quickly. There are no more countries to move cheap manufacturing to. So there has to be a focus on other things rather than simply cost cutting.

The number of working hours per week amount to modern slavery, so it is not good at all. You can see the the abuser companies are the biggest and most profitable ones!. Not good.


RE: Support free tade unions in China
By Belard on 11/28/2011 6:17:35 PM , Rating: 2
I have a question - in general.

If ALL manufacturing, All service calls are automated... who actually works to buy and use the things that are made?


By lagomorpha on 11/25/2011 1:25:32 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
wife and 11 kids living in a small appartment


Well at least the Chinese won't have to worry about having 11 kids.


RE: Support free tade unions in China
By HrilL on 11/28/2011 1:17:14 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like having 11 kids was also part of the problem. No family should have more than 3 kids. And if you can't afford to have any then you shouldn't as well.


RE: Support free tade unions in China
By tng on 11/25/2011 12:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Support free tade unions, human rights and democracy in China. It's that simple.
China will never be a democracy, hence there will never be "Free Trade" unions of any kind. Human rights take a place well behind other government interests. The only way China will change is through literally bloody revolution, that is not likely and would upset the economies of the entire world.

People like the kind who are going out on strike can be easily replaced and will be quietly where there will be no news about it. Then things will go back to normal there.


RE: Support free tade unions in China
By nocturne_81 on 11/25/2011 12:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's really not as grim a prospect as claimed...

Sure, we all have our fears of communism -- and it certainly has a long track record. But China hasn't been doing too badly with 'freeing' the press and acknowledging human rights this last decade. They've started to realize that the government doesn't have much to worry about as long as they provide for the commonwealth -- if everything is peachy, then a 'free' press will do nothing but extol their virtues.

But again, they have plenty enough to worry about.. As things improve/modernize in China, prices go up -- and there's always someplace cheaper to build a product. If their inflation bubble pops at the same time that massive layoffs become rampant, the golden age of China would end rather quickly.


By angryplayer on 11/27/2011 11:12:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As things improve/modernize in China, prices go up
This has been happening for the past decade or two. Why do you think world economic powers were griping about China? It's because China kept printing MORE money to keep its currency artificially low. At first they needed that, but now they're stuck doing that. If they just STOP, they'll face a Great Depression/Zimbabwe situation, where it'll take a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread.


RE: Support free tade unions in China
By Motoman on 11/26/2011 8:15:51 AM , Rating: 1
China will have a democracy of some kind right after a civil war. Because that's what it's going to take to get rid of the reds.


By ickarumba1 on 11/28/2011 5:53:01 AM , Rating: 2
Enough of this anti-communist bull. China has a different system of government, what right do you have to try and change it? Do you live in China? So far, it seems to be working quite well, as China's economic progress over the last 60 years has been extraordinarily fast.


RE: Support free tade unions in China
By erple2 on 11/29/2011 9:47:15 AM , Rating: 2
Nonsense! All it takes is a small, dedicated group of High School Students practicing guerrilla tactics, hiding in the hills, and calling themselves "Wolverines" to thoroughly demoralize the Reds sufficiently to overthrow them.


I'm all for fairness in the workplace, etc.
By masamasa on 11/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: I'm all for fairness in the workplace, etc.
By MrTeal on 11/25/2011 12:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
...

...

Normally I'd ask if you'd even read the article, but seriously, did you even read the title of the article before posting?


RE: I'm all for fairness in the workplace, etc.
By room200 on 11/25/2011 1:42:12 PM , Rating: 4
Of course he didn't. That's what happens when you have an agenda in addition to not knowing what the f%ck you're talking about.


RE: I'm all for fairness in the workplace, etc.
By masamasa on 11/25/2011 4:35:50 PM , Rating: 1
Of course I read it.

"Workers on strike even took their protest to a highway in Shenzhen, where they completely blocked it. Police were called to handle the situation."

Grow up.


By Darksurf on 11/28/2011 9:42:07 AM , Rating: 2
Did you happen to read this part?

"workers went on strike due to long working hours (about 100 to 120 hours of overtime monthly), "mass" layoffs of older workers, verbal abuse from managers, and frequent work-related injuries."

Because what you said still sounds retarded. Do you realize how much space there is in china, especially in populated areas? when you leave one store you're either in the street or at another store! OMG, this isn't america were people have sidewalks EVERYWHERE and proper living conditions and "supposedly fair" government. Some places in china are just too packed, so don't judge them for doing what they should. Not to mention, doing this also got the companies attention and had they respond in the proper manner. What better way is there to attract attention to a corrupt company.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4KJutcEESQ

this is pretty common on how packed the place is believe it or not. Not a lot of space to work with.

You need an education my friend. Oh, and if you judge everything this way, please don't vote in the next election. Your views of right and wrong are skewed, and I don't want the US being any more retarded than it is currently.


By drycrust3 on 11/25/2011 1:41:48 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You don't see a bunch of private industry employees running down the middle of the street to protest pay at the inconvenience of others.

Have you ever even been on strike?

My observation has been that management just never understand why there is a problem with long hours, no matter how many times you mention it or how carefully you explain there is a problem ... until the workers force penal rates, e.g. time and a half, after a certain number of hours, e.g. 8 hours. When that happens, suddenly there never was a problem and "its so easy to fix" and "no one ever complained, so we just didn't know", blah blah blah.
There is an easy way for this to be fixed, which is for "foreign to China" companies require penal rates be paid to workers that work longer than 8 hours in a shift as part of their contract with the Chinese company. When that happens, suddenly all the shifts will end exactly on time.


Improving jobs in US
By damania1 on 11/25/2011 2:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
You know how increase jobs and the working conditions in the US? Legislate regulation stating the Chinese workers (or any worker in the world) must work in good work conditions and they must meet environmental regulations.




By jnemesh on 11/28/2011 11:01:22 AM , Rating: 2
"Gee, I wonder how they make that gizmo so cheaply....?" Answer: On the blood and sweat of underpaid workers in China. We, as a society, need to tell these soulless corporations (I am looking at YOU, Apple!) that we want our electronics to be made in other countries. Countries that have strict labor laws, and fair treatment of workers. We can still have products made inexpensively, but hey, lets pay $10 or $15 more to have them built in a first world country with first world labor practices! Shop with a conscience, people!




Support Workers Rights
By MyOpinionOnly on 12/5/2011 2:45:34 PM , Rating: 2
We in America have the privilage of working with a "democratic" government that at times listens to our needs. We can't dictate what any other government must do, but we can limit what can be sold here. Why not pass a law that products can't be sold here unless it was made by workers that receive a sustainable income (by their contries standards)in a safe environment? Meanwhile, don't buy products that don't meet the criteria.




Suicide or Murder?
By aspartame on 11/26/2011 4:28:25 AM , Rating: 1
Suicide or murder?
Answer:
"Arbeit macht frei!"




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