Solidarity with Honda Workers’ Struggle for Demanding Higher Wages and Restructuring of the shop floor Trade Union
To brothers and sisters at trade unions, civil society and friends who concern about the labor situation in China:
Honda Auto Parts Manufacturing Co., Ltd. located in Foshan City, Guangdong Province, has entered the 14th day strike. This is one of the many strikes of Chinese workers that lasts the longest in recent years. When many people are concerned and moved with great grief by the tragedy of Foxconn’s workers who had committed suicide by jumping from a building, the struggle of Honda workers undoubtedly is very encouraging.
Honda workers told us that their struggle has got some success. Among a total of more than 1,800 employees in the factory, 80 percent of them are student interns from technical schools. Since they signed a internship contract, they are not protected the labor law and their wages is as low as 900 Yuan per month which is lower than the minimum wage level, and they are not covered by any social insurance. When these interns were recruited in schools, the company promised free lodging and meals but only one meal is provided a day. After deducting the cost of utilities for lodging, workers can only get around 700 Yuan per month. Interns can become regular employees only after they finished one year internship and obtained a diploma. Even these interns become regular employees the wages is only 1,000 Yuan per month.
On May 17, all workers went a strike and at the general assembly convened by the employers, the workers made 108 demands and elected 30 representatives upon employer’s request. However, the employer not only failed to show good faith in negotiations, but also dismissed two worker representatives in an attempt scare the others.
May 24, the company agreed to give 55 Yuan a month as meal allowance which was sternly rejected by workers. The regular employees and the interns maintained a high degree of courage and solidarity and insisted to continue the strike.
May 26, Honda management proposed a differentiation that interns will get a wage increase of 477 Yuan per month but the regular staff will only get an increase of 355 Yuan. All workers refused the differentiation formula.
May 27 after discussing collectively, the workers again proposed a few important demands:
1. An increase of basic pay of 800 Yuan per month. Within three days of the wage increase, re-signed a labor contract, and the annual raise must not less than 15%. Year-end bonus, festival subsidies cannot be less than the previous year;
2. Compensation of additional years of service subsidies--for each year of service, there will an increase of 100 Yuan per year with a 10-year cap;
3. Reinstate the dismissed employees and no punishment for workers who joined the strikes;
4. Re-structure the company’s trade union—Re-elect trade union chairman and the trade union related staff.
May 28, Honda management again came up with a new proposal:
Interns’ wages will be increased to 634 Yuan per month after the first three month employment and regular staff’s wage increase remains the same (355 Yuan per month). At the same time, through various means, Honda began to force the interns to sign a “no more strike” promise which has to be submitted before 9 am of May 31. What is more, Honda called in some teachers of the interns and the local government officials to exert pressure on the interns and urged them to go back to work on May 31. Throughout the process, the Honda trade union not only failed to provide any assistance for the strike workers, but urge them resume production as soon as possible.
To face the differentiation and suppression of Honda management, today (May 31) the workers are experiencing the crucial moment of their two-week strike.
We call upon friends and allies who concern about the situation of Chinese workers to support the legitimate struggle of the Honda workers in China. To support the workers, you can put pressure on Honda and urge the company to stop the treatment of differentiation and suppression against the strike workers and make public promises on workers’ reasonable demands:
1) A wage increase of 800 Yuan per month for all workers;
2) Compensate years of service subsidy for 100 Yuan per year of service;
3) Reinstatement of the dismissed worker representatives;
4) Re-structure the Honda company union.
We call upon friends and allies who concern about the situation of Chinese workers to continue monitoring the developments of the incident and support the workers’ demands and actions when they are in need.
China Labour Net：http://www.worldlabour.org/chi/
The Solidarity with Honda Workers’ Struggle petition to Honda Auto Parts Manufacturing Co., Ltd. was written by kwok wing kin and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.