Bureau Chief, Vietnam
John's Feed
Apr 25, 2014

Many return to work after Yue Yuen offer in China strike

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG, April 25 (Reuters) – Many of the
thousands of shoe factory workers who have staged one of China’s
biggest strikes over the past two weeks have returned to work
after the company agreed to meet some of their core demands,
workers and a company official said on Friday.

Three workers at the vast Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd
complex in the southern city of Dongguan estimated
that more than half, maybe as many as 70 percent, of the
40,000-strong workforce had gone back to work by Friday.

Apr 25, 2014

China labor activist freed, says will still help strikers

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A Chinese labor activist has been freed after being detained for more than two days by security agents who he says tried to convince him not to make contact with workers involved in China’s biggest strike in years.

Zhang Zhiru’s brief detention underscores nervousness among officials about the strike, which began on April 14 at a Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd shoe manufacturing complex that employs some 40,000 workers in the southern industrial city of Dongguan.

Apr 23, 2014

China activist missing after trying to help striking workers

SHANGHAI, April 23 (Reuters) – A prominent Chinese labour
activist has been missing for more than 24 hours and his wife
suspects he was detained by state security agents after trying
to help workers involved in China’s biggest strike in years
organise their case.

Zhang Zhiru was last heard from when he spoke to his wife,
Xiao Hongxia, by telephone at around noon on Tuesday. He told
her he had been summoned to a meeting with state security agents
from the industrial southern city of Dongguan.

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.