Pearl River Delta –Summary of labour collective actions in second quarter of 2015
22 July 2015 Intern, Melo @ Little Hammer
- 28 March – Hisense Kelon worker’s strike, company retaliated
On 28 March, the workers started a strike against relocation of factory of Hisense Kelon at Foshan Shundei Area in Guangdong. The factory did not compensate but retaliated workers instead. On 28 March, the company has moved its factory without prior notification, and expressed its intention not to pay compensation to those workers unwilling to move to Jianmen. They have also failed to pay the housing provident fund. The workers therefore demanded the company to provide compensation policies and pension repayment scheme, or else they would refuse to work.
On 30 March, more than 200 workers marched to the Labour Bureau, followed by a troop of police, however, the Labour Bureau refused to accept the case. Afterwards, a list of around 400 striking workers was posted by the employer in the factory, warning that workers would be considered as voluntarily resigned if they did not resume work. A part of workers resumed work. Only 18 striking workers were left in the end, who were sacked by the factory due to absence from work without leave on 1 April. They filed a complaint to the Labour Inspection Team but were only advised to go for arbitration. The sacked workers felt threatened by being tracked by unknown people, therefore most of them gave up.
- 1 April – New Spring Printing Company refusing to compensate, and workers arrested
The company was planning to move the factory away at Xin Yang Factory Area at Shazheng Street in Shenzhen. 200 workers who did not wish to move have urged the company to compensate according to seniority, but in vain. On 1 April, the workers went on strike and protested at Shazhen Street. On 2 April, the workers were confronted by the police. One of them was beaten till she lost her consciousness; 6 of them were arrested. Those arrested were released on that night.
- 13 April – New An Lun workers fought for social security, supported by all walks of life
Since the factory intended to move out of the factory, the workers found out that they have not paid for the social insurance, pension and other sums. 100 workers started the strike to defend their rights.
13 April, 53 workers handed in their “statements of claim” together, demanding the employer to pay 9 items, including social insurance, pension, unpaid overtime fee, high temperature allowances and paid annual leave. The factory delayed the wages and refused to respond directly. On 28 April, the workers started on strike. The next day, they started to occupy the factory, and spent their holiday lying on factory floor on 1st May. The employers have blackmailed workers by agents, and forced to deliver the goods in the factories. They wanted to kick the workers out. On 13 May, the factory posted a notice, firing 6 strikingworkers; and invited a hundred or more police officers, guards and Special Training Unit into the factory. They in total arrested 9 people (representative and those taking photos). Among them, 7 of them were released the next day and 2 female workers were detained for 5 days. On 18 May, the factory again issued a notice, and dismissed 6 workers who had been arrested. Some of the workers did not have a choice but to go back to work. But the others did not give up. On 19 May, 18 workers issued a complaint to the Social Security Bureau, Shenzhen; and they also authorized lawyers to start arbitration. All walks of life initiated a solidarity statement to support New An Lun workers.
- 20April – the third strike of Guangzhou Panyu Lide Shoe Factory workers and requested collective bargaining
Since the Lide Company did not comply with the agreements of the fourth collective bargaining in the previous strike, the workers’ legitimate interests were cheated. On 20 April 2015, 2700 or more workers united and started the third strike . 19 worker representatives requested the company to start collective bargaining, and to comply with the social insurance requirements, housing provident fund, and relocation or compensation proposals before the closure of the factory. The workers were united to pressurize the government and to invite the employer to start bargaining. 300 or more workers guarded the factory over the nights, forcing the employers to compromise. After that, over 1000 workers joined in to guard the factory. After 6 days and 5 nights, the Lide workers have successfully guarded the factory and started three rounds of bargaining. The employers agreed to deposit at once the severance pay, and to increase the money for housing provident fund from $200 per year to $250 per year, as well as its top-up limits from 10 years to 15 years. They successfully made the employers pay their social insurance payments before 31 May.
This Lide Workers’ 8-month struggle, starting from August 2014, is greatly motivating and inspiring to all workers and the NGO community. It is also a rare case that demonstrates how successful a struggle can be.
- 21 April – ShenZhen Eng Electronics refused to pay for the change in ownership, workers stood up and fought for their interests
Located at fuyong town of Baoan Area of Shen Zhen, Guangdong, the Eng Electronics Limited Co sold the factory without paying compensation to the workers. Further the company forced the workers to sign an unreasonable contract, triggering off the mass discontent of the workers. The workers therefore went on strike from 21 April to 23 April. The Shenzhen Eng Electronics, is a medium-sized Taiwanese-owned company. Its former name is Shenzhen En Sai International Electronics, founded in 1988.
6. 29 April – Owner of Dongguan Hou Hong Garment Co. Ltd has abandoned the business, workers marched on street for promised salary
Hou Hong Garment, at QiaoTou Town, Dongguang City, Guangdong, closed down on 29 April. The workers cannot contact the employer and a few million RMB of salary was owed. As they cannot find the employer, they started a march on 29 April and 30 April, holding banners that say “Return the money of my youth” “ Return the money of blood and sweat”. The police stood by but did not intervene. The Town government, on 1 May, invited the worker representatives to visit the office to negotiate their demands.
It is reported that the Hou Hong Garment is a subsidiary of the parent company Hong Kong Dao-Fung Company, producing high-ended knitted t-shirts and pajamas leisure clothes. The company is located at Hong-da Industry Area, at Qiaotou Town Center, Dongguan. At its peak, it has hired 6000 workers.
7. 29 April – Shenzhen Dongzhi Technology ran into wage arrears, 400 workers on strike to demand wages
On 29 April, the Longgang Factory of Shenzhen Dongzhi Technology delayed wages and triggered off 400 people’s strike. They gathered at the factory area. A lot of police officers went into the factory to standby, and subsequently confronted the workers, causing two injured.
The company is a professional factory producing equipment on telecommunications and OEM (original equipment manufacturer), ODM (original design manufacturer), including developing, designing and retailing.
8. 7 May – GZ Bilture Furniture has declared bankrupt, workers suppressed when asking for wages
On 3 May, Bilture Furniture declared bankrupt and restructuring. The workers cannot contact the owner of the company and thus those 200 workers without pay and social insurance payments started to protest from 4 May onwards. On 7 May, workers, failing to get what they legitimately should have, turned their attention to the government. They marched to the Panyu government and shouted “ Return my money of blood and sweat”, hoping the government can assist them with their legal rights. However, there was a confrontation with the police, in which the workers were beaten up. 10 of them were injured and 2 of them were arrested.
9. 9 May – Workers beaten when demanding pay as Xin Chuang Silicone Rubber Products Co closed down
Yan Chong Silicone Rubber Products Co, located at QingXi area at Dongguan, Guangdong, declared bankrupt and the owner fled. After delaying pay for two months, 400 workers protested from 9 May morning onwards and occupied the nearby area of SanZhong Village. They displayed banners like “Let justice be done. Return my money of blood and sweat”. The local government dispatched a lot of police officers with their dogs, and suppressed the workers. During the conflicts, some of the female workers’ clothes were removed and others were beaten up and sent to hospital. 8 workers were arrested.
QingXi Silicone Rubber Products Co employed 400 workers, making silicone equipment, cellphone keypads and metal keypads, and other mobile phones equipment.
10. 13 May – Song Hui Shiye closed down, workers demanding pay were suppressed brutally
Song Hui Shiye at Bao An Area, Shenzhen announced its closing down in early May, delaying 498 workers’ pay of about 1980 thousand RMB. Workers on 5 May started to protest for the money. In the morning of 13 May, about 300 workers sit-in protested at Bao An Area government, demanding the money back. However, the police brutally and violently suppressed it. Workers were beaten, including one pregnant worker, and 3 of them were severely injured, 9 of them were arrested. According to the workers, the workers had long sought help from the government on 6 May, however they only faced neglects and arrests afterwards.
Song Hui Shiye was established in 2002, which is one of the subsidiaries of Hong Kong Best Global Limited in the mainland. The factory, specializing in plastic equipment manufacturing, is located at the He Dong No.1 Industrial Zone in Bao An District.
11. 19 May – Dongguan Huagao Clothing Factory secretly withdrawn from business, workers protests in much difficulties
Huagao Clothing Factory is located at Fumen, Dongguan, Guangzhou. The ownerdelayed wages. The employer owed the workers more than one million RMB and planned to secretly withdraw or write off the company, but the workers discovered that in time. On 15 May, 200 workers went on strike, and over the nights, they stopped the owner in moving away the equipment. They also gathered evidence and submitted to the court, applying to put those 2-million value of goods on hold. But on 19 May, around 10 police officers came to the factory to move the goods themselves, alongside brutally hitting the workers who tried to stop them. The workers were abused and their phones were confiscated. 13 workers were arrested.
According to the workers, the owner of the factory previously made dealings producing counterfeit, and was caught by the Office of cracking down on fake products. In order to get back the salary, the employees exhausted all means to get him out. Nonetheless, he subsequently illegally discarded the evidence against him, wrote off the factory and planned to flee the area. During the workers’ protest, he even bought off the police to brutally suppress the workers, just to abuse them and to take the goods away.
12. 27 May – Guang Xin Footwear Company went into wage arrears, workers blocked road to ask for wages
In the morning of 27 May, there was a strike at Guang Xin Footwear, at Ebu Townj, Haifeng, Shanwei, Guangdong. The workers blocked the road to ask for wages. That factory had delayed wage payments for a few months already, but no one assisted the workers to negotiate or to resolve the problems, and no workers had been willing to act as representatives. A lot of police officers stoodby at the scene, but there was no confrontation yet. Things turned calm.
13. 1 June- workers went into collective action of Tianbaoge Restaurant, and employer was not sincere in negotiations
On 1 June, the boss of the Tianbaoge Restaurant, which locates in Xiangjiang Area, Southern Village Town, Panyu District of the Guangzhou City, disappeared, leaving the workers’ contracts unsigned. Moreover, he did not pay for the workers’ social insurance and housing provident fund, not to mention the high temperature allowances and overtime payments. The new boss of the hotel came and claimed ownership, without recognizing the workers’ seniority and social insurance. 52 workers therefore went into protests. On 4th and 5th June, workers complained to the Panyu Labour Inspection Team, but after two days, the team did not take the claim seriously. Workers subsequently sent the employer an invitation to collective bargaining, and in that meeting dated 10 June, they were promised of the unpaid social insurance, housing provident fund and severance pay. Notices and letters were published. However, after that, for 20 days, the boss showed little sincerity into further proceeding the negotiation, merely delaying the matter endlessly, or even to defraud the workers into compromises. The bureau has also lied repeatedly, delayed the matter or even threatened the labour advisor of the workers. In the morning of 16 June morning, the workers displayed banners saying “Return to me my social insurance”, “the employer was not sincere”, “the employer was not trustworthy”, “please address the workers concern directly”.
On 30 June, the Restaurant owner finally confirmed with the workers on their years of entry, basic salary, number of working years and the amount of social insurance. Yet on 13 July, the workers were still disappointed and consequently wrote letters to the Petition Bureau of Guangzhou City People’s Congress and Petitioner’s Bureau of the People’s Government reflecting their demands to the leaders. They are still not addressed properly.
14. The owner of Leader Sporting Co Ltd fled, workers were suppressed
The Leader Sporting is located at Chungjiang area, Songgang Street, Baoan District, Shen Zhen, Guangdong. The owner disappeared and escaped from responsibility. On 3 June, 500 or more workers protested and gathered at the streets at Songgang, demanding wages and compensation. The local government did not help the workers, but deployed the police to beat up the workers representatives. In the morning of 4 June, the workers again planned to write “I want wages I want compensation” for the march to Baoan government. Workers were intercepted by a lot of police. Many of them were beaten, 3 of them were arrested.
The Leader Sporting, (Shenzhen) is a company producing ice skates, roller shoes and other protective gears or professional sports gear. It supplied the goods for K2 and B-square sports manufacturing. It formerly was a Taiwanese-owned Shi Ze Plastic Co Ltd founded in 1979. In 1994, the Mainland factory changed its name to Leader Sporting.
15. Restless protests, workers of the Shenzhen Artigas Clothing and Leather went on strike for the third time
On 8 June, the workers went on strike for the third time because of the relocation of the factory, the missing contributions to social insurance, their refusal to negotiate with workers, as well as the unreasonable dismissal of workers representative Ng Wei-hua (after failing to buy her off with 150 thousand RMB). At that day, 10 or more workers were arrested, and Ng Wei-hua was detained for more than 15 days. Because of the high temperature of the sit-in site and stressed environment all alone, a few workers were dizzy and had to be sent to hospital. There was even a female worker suffering from miscarriage during the strike.
On 29 June, the 108 workers of the Artigas (105 female, 3 male) came to the Petition Bureau of Guangdong Province to express their demand. They were however ignored and refused access. Because of the lack of funds, the workers could only sleep on the streets. On 6 July, those sleeping at the Petition Bureau, workers were literally “picked up” by the police officers and were thrown into a bus. Under police escort, they were sent back to Shenzhen and detained in separate local police stations. When they were released that night, the workers lost their banking card of the account that raised funds for the protest. Afterwards, they were threatened with the cut-off from water and electricity and the closure of the factory. Their weibo accounts were also banned. A lot of difficulties arose for the protests.
The Artigas workers have started to protest since 10 December last year. Because the factory has owed them social insurance and housing provident fund, and ignored the demands of the workers, more than 1000 workers went on strike. The supporters from all walks of life and the Labour NGO have actively been vocal, pressurizing the related brands. But the employers have excused themselves from negotiation. The Shenzhen government did not substantially respond to the workers’ demand. In contrast, at the ninth day of protest, those peacefully protesting at the factory were suppressed by 200 police officers. The female workers were beaten up. Because of the violence of the police and the blackmailing of the employers, most of the workers resumed their positions on 19 December. The government however directly went into the factory, acting as a “manager” for the capitalists. Due to the heavy monitoring, the workers started the second strike on 29 December, but it was soon suppressed.
16. 10 June – owner of Dongguan Zhenghao Electronics Co Ltd flees, workers marching on streets for their wages
Dongguan Zhenghao Electronics Co Ltd, at Tangsha town, Dongguan, Guangdong, closed down for business. The owners disappeared and left the 100 workers’ wages and a 100 million debt of the suppliers unpaid. On 10 June, 300 workers marched on streets to the provincial government, demanding for the missing wages and unemployment compensation. The local security bureau has dispatched the riot police to suppress the workers. There were confrontations, workers were beaten and arrested by the police. Because of the 100 million debt to the supplier, the government intervened and negotiated with the suppliers. According to the notices of the government, it was said that the workers were compensated.
Zhenghao Electronics Co Ltd is a subsidiary of Hong Kong Greatest Company, founded in 1998, taking up 25000 square meters. It is a large hi-technology company serving all R&D, manufacturing and sale all at once. At its peak, it has employed more than 1000 workers. Its parent company has 3 standard manufacturing sites in Mainland, Zhejiang Greatest Co Ltd, Zhenghao Electronics Co Ltd, and Tsingdao Greatest Co Ltd.
17. 26 June – owner of Huangjia Gongguan Hotel disappeared, workers protesting
Huangjia Gongguan Hotel is located at Wei-yang Area of Weizhou, Guangdong. The owner of the hotel has owed the workers around 500 thousand RMB of wages, and escaped from responsibilities. From 22 June onwards, workers visited the government, the labour bureau and the petition bureau, seeking assistance. These efforts were in vain. On 26 June, the workers displayed a banner saying “ We want to make a living, We want to go home”, pressing the government to help. They were suppressed by the police, with 9 workers arrested.