As China Aids Labor, Unrest Is Still Rising

From the New York Times:

On a hot morning in late May, while some 2,000 workers at a Honda parts factory were striking in China’s south, 100 irate employees at a hotel in the heart of the capital staged their own protest.

The Honda workers got lots of publicity. The hotel employees were mostly ignored. But the undercurrent was the same: labor disputes are becoming a common feature of the Chinese economic landscape.

Chinese workers are much more willing these days to defend their rights and demand higher wages, encouraged by recent policies from the central government aimed at protecting laborers and closing the income gap. Chinese leaders dread even the hint of Solidarity-style labor activism. But they have moved to empower workers by pushing through labor laws that signaled that central authorities would no longer tolerate poor workplace conditions, legal scholars and Chinese labor experts say.

June 21, 2010 2:08 PM
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