- Title: CHINA: Honda workers suspend latest strike
- Date: 16th June 2010
- Summary: ZHONGSHAN, GUANGDONG PROVINCE, CHINA (JUNE 15, 2010) (REUTERS) HONDA LOCK FACTORY VARIOUS OF WORKERS ARRIVING FOR WORK WORKERS ENTERING FACTORY SECURITY GUARD WORKERS ENTERING FACTORY (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE WORKER SAYING: REPORTER ASKING: "Are you going to strike today?" UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE WORKER SAYING: "I don't know. I just got here. I didn't come yesterday so I don't know what's going on." REPORTER ASKING: "Will you work today?" UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE WORKER SAYING: "I don't know if I'll work today, I'll see what's going on first." FLAGS OUTSIDE FACTORY HONDA MANAGER TAKING PHOTOS FROM INSIDE FACTORY VARIOUS OF WORKERS OUTSIDE WAREHOUSE INSIDE GROUNDS VARIOUS OF BILLBOARD ADVERTISING POSITIONS AT HONDA LOCK ADVERTISEMENT READING: "HONDA LOCK, JUNE 13, 2010. Due to our business development needs of today, the company is recruiting production workers. Our company provides good benefits, a good salary and pays on time. The average monthly income will be about 2000 yuan (293 U.S. dollars) per month including bonus, benefits and overtime." VARIOUS OF JOBSEEKERS WAITING IN RAIN VARIOUS OF JOBSEEKERS GETTING ON BUS TO TRAINING SESSION VARIOUS OF JOBSEEKERS ENTERING BUILDING VARIOUS OF JOBSEEKERS WAITING TO ENTER LIFT TO TRAINING SESSION VARIOUS OF ZHONGSHAN
- Embargoed: 1st July 2010 16:50
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Industry,Employment
- Reuters ID: LVA1WYUCBCZSVSZYYJA0TBOHFFRB
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Workers at a Chinese Honda factory suspended their latest strike on Tuesday (June 15) as Premier Wen Jiabao urged better treatment of the country's migrant labour force in the face of growing worker assertiveness.
At the Honda Lock factory in the South China city of Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, one of the last plants where a strike has yet to be resolved, hundreds of workers streamed back to work on a drizzly morning.
Their return temporarily ended a work stoppage that began nearly a week ago when hundreds of the plant's 1,500 workers went on strike.
Some said they had agreed to come back until Friday (June 18), when the management has promised to make a new offer on their wage demands.
The management had previously offered a raise of 100 yuan (around 15 U.S. dollars) per month in wages and another 100 yuan in allowances, but most workers rejected the offer as too low.
A Honda spokesman said it was the Japanese company's understanding that workers at Honda Lock had returned for three days ahead of an expected new offer.
Workers said they had agreed to return only grudgingly, and might not do much inside the factory.
One young woman on her way to the factory said she wasn't sure if she would strike or not.
"I don't know. I just got here. I didn't come yesterday so I don't know what's going on," she told reporters.
"I don't know if I'll work today, I'll see what's going on first," she added.
One worker said a senior manager from Guangqi Honda, one of Honda's two car-making joint ventures in China, had come to the factory on Monday to ease tensions.
At one point last week, hundreds of strikers had gathered outside the factory gates while riot police sealed off the road leading away from the plant.
The factory has continued a hiring campaign that some workers had seen as one of several intimidation tactics used to try and get them to return to work.
On Sunday (June 13), flyers were posted near the factory offering much more than Honda Lock workers claim they earn.
"HONDA LOCK, JUNE 13, 2010. Due to our business development needs of today, the company is recruiting production workers. Our company provides good benefits, a good salary and pays on time. The average monthly income will be about 2000 yuan (292 U.S. dollars) per month including bonus, benefits and overtime," it read.
Around 100 new recruits turned up at the factory on Monday (June 14), and on Tuesday, 50 more, mostly migrant workers from interior provinces, climbed aboard a large coach parked outside the factory gates in search of work.
They said they were going to a training session, though one worker told Reuters they had not signed anything yet.
The strike at the factory making locks for Honda vehicles is the latest in an outburst of labour disputes to hit factories in southern China's Pearl River Delta, an industrial zone that makes nearly a third of the country's exports, by workers demanding a greater piece of China's growing economic wealth.
If it spreads, the ripples of unrest could present hard choices for China's ruling Communist Party, which has vowed to raise the incomes of hundreds of millions of farmers and migrant workers, but also wants to keep export-driven industry humming and stifle any threats to top-down government control.
In the most high-level comments to touch on migrant worker conditions since the strikes broke out, Premier Wen Jiabao said he recognised that a new generation moving from poor villages to work in factories and on building sites would not be satisfied with the same tough conditions their parents endured.
The government has estimated that there are about 130 million migrant labourers.
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