Bureau Chief, Vietnam
John's Feed
Apr 17, 2014

China shoe factory strike shows welfare Achilles’ heel

DONGGUAN, China, April 17 (Reuters) – Zhou Hujun, one of
thousands of shoe factory workers on strike in southern China,
drove his motorbike to the local government’s Social Security
Department seeking answers. After a few minutes, he left
clutching spreadsheets that just raised more questions.

Zhou and other striking workers believe Yue Yuen Industrial
Holdings Ltd, which owns the factory making footwear
for Nike, Adidas and others, has for years
underpaid into workers’ social insurance accounts -
government-mandated nest eggs for disability, unemployment and
retirement.

Apr 16, 2014

China shoe factory strike rolls on as offer falls flat

DONGGUAN/HONG KONG, April 15 (Reuters) – Thousands of
workers at a giant Chinese shoe factory shrugged off an offer
for improved social benefits on Tuesday, prolonging one of the
largest strikes in China in recent years amid signs of increased
labour activism as the economy slows.

The industrial unrest at Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings)
, now stretching to around ten days and sparking
sporadic scuffles with police, has centred on issues including
unpaid social insurance, improper labour contracts and low
wages. Workers have demanded improved social insurance payments,
a pay rise and more equitable contracts.

Apr 15, 2014

Massive China shoe factory strike rolls on as offer falls flat

DONGGUAN/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Thousands of workers at a giant Chinese shoe factory shrugged off an offer for improved social benefits on Tuesday, prolonging one of the largest strikes in China in recent years amid signs of increased labor activism as the economy slows.

The industrial unrest at Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings), now stretching to around ten days and sparking sporadic scuffles with police, has centered on issues including unpaid social insurance, improper labor contracts and low wages. Workers have demanded improved social insurance payments, a pay rise and more equitable contracts.

Apr 15, 2014

China convicts hospital workers after high-profile labor protest

GUANGZHOU (Reuters) – A Chinese court on Tuesday convicted 12 hospital security guards of “disturbing social order” after staging a labor protest last year, sentencing several to light jail terms in what was seen as a test case for labor rights in China.

The guards had been part of a group of more than 100 healthcare workers embroiled in a months-long dispute with the Guangzhou Chinese Medicine University Hospital over labor conditions and compensation.

Apr 11, 2014

Australian PM says searchers confident of position of MH370′s black boxes

PERTH/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The international effort to find a missing Malaysian jetliner was zeroing on a small patch of the Indian Ocean on Friday, but Australia’s prime minister warned the signal from what is believed to be the plane’s black box was fading.

The Australian agency overseeing the search said it would use some of the most sophisticated resources at its disposal on the small search area after a new acoustic signal, that could be from the plane’s black box recorders, was detected on Thursday.

Apr 11, 2014

Australian PM confident signals are from missing plane’s black box

PERTH/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The international effort to find a missing Malaysian jetliner was zeroing on a small patch of the Indian Ocean on Friday, but Australia’s prime minister warned the signal from what is believed to be the plane’s black box was fading.

The Australian agency overseeing the search said it would use some of the most sophisticated resources at its disposal on the small search area after a new acoustic signal, that could be from the plane’s black box recorders, was detected on Thursday.

Apr 7, 2014

Huang’s tale: from Walmart cashier to labour leader in China

DENGFENG, China, April 8 (Reuters) – Huang Xingguo took a
job as a cashier at a new Walmart store in his hometown in
southern China for a steady paycheck and the prospect of upward
mobility after a string of sales jobs and a run as a day trader.

Five years later, he has landed on the frontlines of China’s
labour rights movement, an unlikely leader of several dozen
workers seeking better severance pay after the store in the
Hunan province city of Changde announced last month it was
closing.

Mar 26, 2014

How rumour sparked panic and 3-day bank run in Chinese city

YANCHENG, China, March 26 (Reuters) – The rumour spread
quickly. A small rural lender in eastern China had turned down a
customer’s request to withdraw 200,000 yuan ($32,200).

Bankers and local officials say it never happened, but true
or not the rumour was all it took to spark a run on a bank as
the story passed quickly from person to person, among
depositors, bystanders and even bank employees.

Mar 26, 2014

China official urges calm as depositors again queue outside rural banks

YANCHENG, China, March 26 (Reuters) – A Chinese county
official appealed for calm among bank depositors in the eastern
city of Yancheng on Wednesday as queues formed for a third
straight day outside the branches of two small banks rumoured to
be in financial trouble.

Police and security guards stood by as dozens of people
formed a line outside a branch of Rural Commercial Bank of
Huanghai, one of the two banks that have suffered a rush of
withdrawals this week on the outskirts of the city.

Mar 9, 2014

IBM factory strike shows shifting China labor landscape

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A wildcat strike at an IBM factory in southern China illustrates how tectonic shifts under way in the country’s labor market are emboldening workers to take matters into their own hands, raising risks for multinationals.

More than 1,000 workers walked off the job last week at the factory in Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong, after managers on March 3 announced the terms of their transfer to new ownership under Chinese PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd.