More than 1,000 migrant workers in Shanghai have gone on strike and held 18 managers hostage following a dispute over the introduction of a draconian new disciplinary policy. Four hundred riot police officers attended to the factory in a bid to free the bosses. There are reports of many workers being injured in the subsequent clashes, including several with broken limbs. Following the incident the bosses have withdrawn the new policy, issued an apology for its introduction, and have promised the workers a pay rise…… Direct action gets the goods!
The workers, employed at the Shinmei Electric plant were furious at the new rules and regulations that will mean heavy fines or dismissal, should people be late back from the toilet, and instant dismissal for making one work related mistake. Angry workers besieged the plant in Shanghai for over two days, rounding up the bosses and forcibly locking 18 of them in a room.
To give them a taste of their own medicine the bosses were prevented from using the toilet for the duration of their detention.
The workers claim that there are 49 unfair or unacceptable clauses within the policy that came into force soon after new owners took over the factory. A local newspaper reports that:
“An assembly worker, who declined to be named, said they were also angry over the acquisition. She said workers feared that they would no longer enjoy the benefits accumulated in their previous years working in the factory after they signed a new contract following the acquisition by a Chinese firm in Dalian, Liaoning province.”
An unnamed worker has said that:
“We earn less than 2,000 Yuan a month, but we could be subjected to fines of 50-100 Yuan for arriving late or spending more than two minutes on the toilet.”
The strike started on Friday morning and ended on Saturday night. All the bosses were released unharmed – after they agreed to reconsider the policy.
Following the incident the bosses have withdrawn the new policy, issued an apology for its introduction, and have promised the workers a pay rise.
Direct action gets the goods!