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A wave of strikes swept through China

The Chinese economy is said to have an exception in the global crisis of capitalism. Tell that to the thousands of Chinese workers, who over the past week, participated in a wave of strikes that swept many parts of the country. Among the most sensational was the fight at a number of the Honda, which still swept the three strike wave - even after employees have achieve higher wages after the first strike by 24%. On "Fokskonne, manufacturer Ipods, where recently there were many cases of suicide, as a result of the strike had to raise wages by 70%.At the engineering factory CCO clashes between security forces and employees, when first attempted to prevent a second strike to make the streets.

Chinese media did not suppress these strikes, because all these companies are foreign-owned, and labor conflicts are used for propaganda against rival China in the region - Japan and South Korea. In fact, the strike movement spread and employees of Chinese businesses in many cities.The common point was the use of police and other security forces.

Distribution strikes

Media outside of China had to quickly understand that there is something significant. By publishing such titles as "The rise of the Chinese labor movement» (, «A new generation is shaking the labor landscape in China" (Reuters) and "Strike put China on the brink of labor unrest" (Associated Press), acknowledges the bourgeoisie, albeit at a way, although in the past, rising discontent of the working class in China was obvious that the current movement has become something much greater.

In this article the Associated Press dated June 11, said: "The government endured a long time limited, local protests of workers who are dissatisfied with salary or other problems, perhaps recognizing the need to vent so disappointed."However, the "Financial Times" adds June 11: "there are signs that the workers protests in China is much more widespread and coordinated than previously thought.This raises the risk of imitative strikes, which will increase the cost of TNCs. And one of Hong Kong economist, quoted by the Daily Telegraph on June 10, responds to it: "... one spark is enough to break out, and news spread throughout China, which could lead to similar strikes at other factories."

Labor and Capital

Experts try to explain the reasons for the struggle, its tendency to inspire others and spread them."The workers inform each other about the strike speech on mobile phones and via instant messaging service QQ. They often compare salaries and working conditions of workers from their home province, and use the results to negotiate with employers, said Joseph Cheng, professor at Hong Kong City University. "(Working protests) occurring since the beginning of the year across the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River", due to cuts in employment "(Financial Times, 11 June 2010).Another "expert" sums up: "One of the strikes occurred when the workers came together precisely because sending faxes to each other, - said Dong Baohua, Professor of Law East China University of Politics and Law. - Modern technology makes it easier to strike ". (Ibid.).

Indeed, workers are using technological innovations, but this does not explain why workers are on strike and why they seek to unite in the fight.The reasons for this lie in the material conditions of life and labor. According to official statistics, in 1983, the amount of wages was 56% of Chinese GDP in 2005, the figure dropped to 36%. In the past 5 years approximately one in four employees in China has not received a raise. If someone has something and received from the Chinese economic miracle, it is not working class. The recent increase in the minimum wage in such important industrial provinces like Guangdong, Shandong, Ningxia and Hebei, in an attempt to offset the effects of inflation, but even the state media have met the assumption that one of the motives was to prevent social unrest.

The online version of the semi-official newspaper Renmin Ribao, under the heading "Experts warn that the coming increase in labor unrest, you can read:" Rising labor unrest, which originated in southern China, may soon lead to an upward trend wages.The newspaper is trying to portray this as a "possibility" and gives no explanation of the "unrest".However, like the capitalists in other countries, the Chinese can not count. As explained by one official on the investment plans in Hong Kong: "If labor costs rise, their profits will decline and they can even move their factories to other countries who can provide them with cheaper labor."

Organize - a trade union or outside them?

China has long been growing frustration and impatience on the trade unions.These pure public authorities not only to prevent strikes and try to prevent them in the Honda, they even used physical force against the workers, who, in turn, attacked the trade union officials. Not surprisingly, the workers were trying to go the other way. For example, in an article published in The New York Times, June 10, 2010, reported that "scattered strikes began to spread to Chinese provinces, has not yet been affected by labor unrest," and told what had happened at the Honda during a of the strike: "The strikers have created a harmonious, democratic organization, the reality of electing Shop Stewards, who were supposed to represent them in collective bargaining with the administration.They also demanded the right to form trade unions independent of the government-controlled national trade union federations, which has long been focused on maintaining labor peace for the sake of attracting foreign investors. "(...)

Attempts by workers to take the fight into their own hands can take various forms: Shop Stewards, elected committees, delegations to other workers, the general assembly, in which employees make their own decisions about the organization of the struggle. There is no automatic, inevitable progress, and is a lot of erroneous attempts. But it is important to see the dynamics of movement.

During the first strike on the Honda was the statement of one delegation, which included an obviously illusions about the trade unions.But there was another with a healthy idea: "We are fighting for the rights of not only 1800 workers, but all workers across the country." These workers can talk about "rights" instead of liberation, but clearly demonstrate that they want traffic that goes beyond a single factory.

While in one part of the document confirms that "the duty of the union - to protect the collective interests of employees and provide leadership in the workers' strikes, there is a passage, indicating the development and other ideas:" All of us working "Honda Auto Parts manufakchyuring Company Limited, should be stick together and not separated by the Administration.We understand that among us are inevitable divergent views. We urge all workers to express their views to representatives of the workers. Although these representatives do not cover all workers in all departments, they perceive the views of all factory workers seriously and as an equal. Conveyor workers with an interest and willingness to participate in negotiations with the Administration, may enter into the delegation by the election ... without the approval of the working of the Assembly, the representatives will not unilaterally make a proposal about the conditions that will be lower than the above requirements.This is a quote from the translation that appeared on the It is interesting to note that the excerpt, which refers to the need for working-class unity, translated as follows: "We urge all workers to maintain a high degree of unity and not allow the capitalists to divide us."

Whatever the translation may have been more precise, the need for working-class unity against the "administration" or "capitalists" - the primary problem for the working class struggle. Financial situation in China, which is pushing the fight, and the organization - the same ones that face the workers throughout the world.

World Revolution, 15.06 - 15.07.2010.

Translation VG

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