By Jennifer Cheung
Management at the Nanhai Honda automotive plant, scene of a groundbreaking strike in the summer of 2010, has agreed to a better pay deal for junior workers after around 100 production line workers went out on strike on 18 March.
The workers were unhappy with a pay deal announced by management and the enterprise trade union that would have given them just a 10.2 percent increase, about 160 to 220 yuan per month, while senior employees got a 19.8 percent increase.
The workers reported on their weibo today that under the new deal, agreed on the afternoon of 19 March, junior workers would get a salary increase of 14.4 percent, or 310 yuan per month, plus a housing subsidy of 50 yuan.
However, some of the workers are worried about the repercussions of their strike action, saying that it reflected badly on the company’s reputation.
After the workers went out on strike, one female employee said:
A manager came to persuade us, saying that previously our wages were indeed low, so it was normal for us to stage a strike back then. However, you cannot always resort to strike action to solve our problems. Look around, our salary is already higher than the neighboring factories.
There are concerns that some of the strike leaders may be disciplined or fired after reportedly being criticized by management and enterprise union officials who negotiated the pay deal. It is quite common for labour activists at China’s factories to suffer reprisals, if not immediately after a strike action, then a few months later when labour relations are calmer.
For more information on this issue see CLB’s commentary on protecting workers’ representatives, published in December last year.