36 pay strikes over 48 days in Guangdong

08:25, July 16, 2010      

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The southern manufacturing hub of Guangdong witnessed 36 strikes for higher pay between May 25 and July 12, involving more than 600 workers, local authorities said.

The figures were disclosed by Ou Zhenzhi, director of the provincial human resources and social security department, at a Wednesday meeting on improving work conditions, the local Nanfang Daily reported on Thursday.

Most of the 36 cases had been solved properly, with the monthly pay of most of the workers rising by 100 to 500 yuan ($15-74), Ou said.

The strikes occurred mainly in the Pearl River Delta area in the car parts factories and electronics plants. About 90 percent of the workers came from the front line.

The latest reported strike was at Atsumitec Co, a factory in Foshan of Guangdong that supplies parts for Japan's Honda Motor Company.

The strike began on Monday, when 170 workers put down their tools after management fired about 100 workers, a worker who declined to give his name told Reuters by telephone on Thursday.

A Honda spokeswoman in Tokyo said the factory supplies shift levers (gear sticks) to the carmaker's local plants, and said the workers had been on strike since July 12.

She said the action has not yet had any impact on Honda's carmaking operations in China, some of which were affected last month by strikes at other parts makers.

Following the cases, the provincial human resources and social security department studied the employment conditions in the province and pushed for the negotiations between employers and employees, Ou said.

Labor departments at various levels in Guangdong have identified 120 enterprises in Guangzhou as having unstable labor relations, 14 in Shenzhen and eight in Zhuhai.

Those enterprises have been ordered to rectify the situations, and some received administrative penalties for illegal practices such as delaying or skimping on wage payments.

Earlier this month, Guangdong provincial authorities issued guidelines on strengthening the care of workers and improving employment conditions, following what they described as "cases of inharmonious labor relations" in the province earlier this year.

The guidelines calls for the building of labor relations, which are humane, fair and stable.

The employers, for example, are required to promote democratic management, hold collective wage consultations on a regular basis and build a wage rise mechanism.

The trade unions are instructed to expand their membership, optimize the election of the union leadership and better represent the workers.

Guangdong is home to up to 30 million migrant workers and the guidelines suggest the government improve public services for migrant workers, including housing, medical care, family planning and the education of the workers' children.

Zheng Erqi and Huang Kayi contributed to this story.

Source:China Daily


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