Honda workers in Foshan threaten further action

By John Sexton
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, June 4, 2010
Adjust font size:

Workers at the Honda parts plant in Foshan have resumed work provisionally but will resume their strike within three days if their demands are not met in full, the workers' 16-member negotiating committee said June 3 in an open letter.

Honda announced yesterday that it would resume car production on Friday at four plants affected by the strike, which began on May 17, but admitted uncertainty remained as not all workers in Foshan had agreed to return to work.

The workers committee listed their demands as an 800 yuan (US$117) per month across-the-board increase for all workers, including interns and trainees, reform of the wages and promotion systems and an overhaul of the trade union, including election of shop-floor representatives. They said the company had already agreed that no workers would be dismissed for taking part in the strike.

The committee said the provisional return to work had been agreed with Zheng Qinghong, deputy chairman of Guangzhou Automobile Group, the Chinese side of the joint venture that manages Honda's other plants in China.

The company has so far offered a wage increase of 355 yuan (US$52) per month for established employees and 477 yuan (US$70) for interns, an offer the strike committee said was devised to divide the workforce.

The committee said the company was "using every means to split the workers," including asking training schools to withhold diplomas from striking interns. Interns from technical colleges make up a significant proportion of the Foshan workforce.

The open letter from the negotiating committee strongly criticized local trade union officials from Nanhai district and Shishan Township, who, it said, had sided with management, in particular by demanding interns sign "no-strike" agreements.

The negotiating committee also demanded a full explanation and apology for an incident on May 31 when some union officials clashed with striking workers at the factory gates.

The Nanhai and Shishan trade union branches published an open letter to the Honda workers on June 1, claiming that "the impulsive and emotional state of some of the workers," had led to a "physical conflict between some employees and representatives of the union." It added that "If people feel some of the methods used in yesterday's incident were difficult to accept, we apologize."

The strike committee dismissed the union apology and accused union officials of using the letter to claim credit for negotiating wage increases that were "conceded under pressure from the strikers, obtained by their sweat and blood."

The 1,900 workers at the Foshan plant, which is wholly-owned by Honda, began their strike action on May 17. The strike quickly forced the closure of all Honda's plants in China.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from