Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Economic instability

At a time when those in power want stability, economics is not a friend. Growth has slowed and now there's labor unrest.

Strikes in China over foreign employers selling out to local companies
Coca-Cola workers in three Chinese cities have gone on strike after the US soft drinks company announced it was selling its bottling interests in the country…

The company has announced it is selling all its bottling assets in mainland China to Hong Kong conglomerate Swire Pacific and Cofco Corporation, one of China’s state-owned food giants…

Workers at three Coca-Cola plants called co-ordinated strikes on Monday, with pictures posted online appearing to show workers outside a factory in Chongqing with a banner that read: “We worked hard for over a decade but were sold in less than a second. Compensate! Compensate! Compensate!”…

The Coca-Cola bottling plant workers feared they would lose their jobs or pay under the state-owned employer, said one striking employee.

“We are demanding the company disclose details of the refranchising and plans during the transitional period,” he said.

“We request the company give workers economic compensation before they decide to sign the contract with Cofco.”

Separately, workers at a Sony factory in the southern city of Guangzhou downed tools in protest at the sale of the Sony Electronics Huanan subsidiary, which managed the site, to a Chinese company.

Production at the smartphone camera parts facility, which employs 4,000 people, was halted for two weeks after Sony announced it had been sold to Shenzhen O-Film Tech…

Labour protests have erupted in China with economic growth slowing and factory closures often leaving workers with unpaid wages and no redundancy [unemployment] pay.

Hong Kong-based rights group China Labour Bulletin (CLB) said there were 2,774 strikes and labour protests across the country in 2015 – more than the previous four years put together – with unpaid wages the most common grievance.

Independent trade unions are banned in China, with only the official All-China Federation of Trade Unions legally recognised. But critics say it often fails to assist workers in disputes…

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