A wave of strikes, initiated by workers in Guangdong province export factories last November, has resumed, fuelled by a slowing economy. This follows a pause due to the Chinese New Year holiday period from late January to early February.
Over 5,000 workers from the Hanzhong Iron and Steel Group in Shaanxi Province went on strike on February 14, complaining that their wages of 1,000 yuan-1,500 yuan ($US238) a month were barely enough to survive on, amid rising prices of basic necessities. According to the China Jasmine Revolution web site, the steel workers complained that they could not feed their families, while Communist Party bosses-turned managers had such high incomes that they had mistresses.
According to the China Labour Bulletin based in Hong Kong, thousands of workers held a demonstration outside the plant, holding red banners proclaiming “We want our rights, we want to eat.” In ensuing scuffles with hundreds of police, about a dozen workers were arrested. (Click here to see the photo of the demonstration)