Workers' struggles in East Asia (May 2012)

Migrant workers in China attacked government buildings after a death over wages

Summary and links to news stories of workers' struggles around East Asia during May 2012 and related resources. The most important stories appear on my Twitter feed as soon as I find them: http://twitter.com/spartacusnews.

This month there has been news from Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. For pages that are not in English, you may want to use a translation service such as Google Translate to get an idea of what the article is about.

The most important stories:

-WSWS Asia 5: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific (link 1)
-WSWS Asia 12: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific (link 1)
-WSWS Asia 19: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific (link 1)
-WSWS Asia 26: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific (link 1)
Burma/Myanmar 10: Strike over wages at HI Mo High Art wig factory in Rangoon (link 1) (link 2)
Burma/Myanmar 15: Land Grabs Intensify as Burma 'Reform' Races Ahead of Law (link 1)
Burma/Myanmar 20: Strikes over pay and conditions at garment factories in Yangon (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
Burma/Myanmar 22: Protest against blackouts in Mandalay, Yangon / Rangoon, and other towns and cities (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6) (link 7) (link 8) (link 9) (link 10) (link 11) (link 12) (link 13) (link 14) (link 15) (link 16) (link 17) (link 18) (link 19) (link 20) (link 21) (link 22) (link 23) (link 24) (link 25) (link 26)
Burma/Myanmar 25: Hunger strike over wages at steel factory in Yangon / Rangoon (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
Burma/Myanmar 28: Strikes in Yangon / Rangoon in May (link 1)
Burma/Myanmar 31: Strike at Hi Mo wig factory in Rangoon continues (link 1)
Cambodia 1: Protest against land seizures (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5)
Cambodia 1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1)
Cambodia 3: Strikes in several garment factories over working conditions (link 1)
Cambodia 8: Strike over benefits in Kandal province (link 1)
Cambodia 10: Strike over pay and conditions at Su Tong Fang Fabrik in Phnom Penh (link 1)
Cambodia 16: Protest against land seizure in the east - teenage girl killed (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6) (link 7) (link 8)
Cambodia 18: Strike over working conditions by garment workers at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) in Phnom Penh (link 1)
Cambodia 21: Strike over pay and conditions at SL Garment factory in Phnom Penh (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5)
Cambodia 24: Strike over working conditions and right to organise at Honda NCX factory in Choam Chao (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)
Cambodia 29: Strike over wages at SL garment strike in Phnom Penh resumes (link 1)
China 1: International Workers' Day Protest in Hong Kong (link 1) (link 2)
China 1: Protest against police brutality in Chengdu (link 1)
China 8: Strike over pay and corruption at FAW-GM Hongta Automobile Factory in Qujing, Yunnan (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)
China 9: Protest against closure of factories by workers in Yunnan (link 1)
China 10: Suicide bombing against forced demolition (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6)
China 14: China's workers' movement continues to develop away from the international headlines (link 1)
China 14: Collective Labour Incidents Map (link 1)
China 14: Protest over medical malpractice and police action in Guiyang, Guizhou (link 1)
China 15: Protest over land seizures in Fuzhou, Fujian Province (link 1)
China 16: Protest against corruption in Shenzhen, Guangdong (link 1)
China 28: Protest over death in custody in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province (link 1) (link 2)
China 30: Protest over death of migrant worker in Rui'an, Zhejiang Province (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6) (link 7) (link 8) (link 9) (link 10)
China 30: Strike over wages by santation workers in Dazhou, Sichuan (link 1) (link 2)
East Timor 1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1)
Indonesia 1: International Workers' Day Protests (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6) (link 7) (link 8) (link 9) (link 10) (link 11)
Indonesia 5: Strike and protest over firing of union official at PT SC Enterprise in Klaten (link 1)
Indonesia 8: Strike over wages at Pindo Deli paper mill (link 1)
Indonesia 9: Strike over pay at Paper Mills in Karawang (link 1)
Indonesia 10: Protest against land seizure in Riau (link 1)
Indonesia 31: Protest against fuel price rises blocks main coal-carrying rivers (link 1) (link 2)
Indonesia 31: Strike over appointment of manager at Texpia garment factory in Subang (link 1) (link 2)
Malaysia 1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
Malaysia 4: Strike over depot charges by truckers at Port Klang (link 1) (link 2)
Philippines 1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6)
Philippines 18: Strike over right to organise at Co Ban Kiat hardware supplier in Manila (link 1)
South Korea 1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1) (link 2)
South Korea 12: Strike against censorship and bias continues by media workers at KBS, MBC and YTN (link 1) (link 2)
South Korea 15: Strike against bank merger by bank workers of Woori Financial Group in Seoul (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)
South Korea 17: Strike over pay and conditions by bus drivers in Seoul (link 1)
Taiwan 1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)
Taiwan 12: Protests against working conditions by nurses in Taichung and Taipei (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
Thailand 13: Strike over wages and working conditions at SD Fashion/Idea Garment factory in Mae Sot, Tak Province (link 1)
Thailand 21: Protest for reinstatement of fired workers at Shin-ei High Tech automotive factory in Nakhon Ratchasima (link 1) (link 2)
Vietnam 9: Protest over land seizure in Nam Dinh province (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
Vietnam 12: Protest over land seizure in Da Nang City (link 1) (link 2)
Vietnam 23: Strike at Matrix Limited Company toy factory in Nghe An province (link 1)

All reports ordered by country and date:

-WSWS Asia

5: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific (link 1)
12: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific (link 1)
19: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific (link 1)
26: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific (link 1)

Burma/Myanmar

10: Strike over wages at HI Mo High Art wig factory in Rangoon (link 1) (link 2)
15: Land Grabs Intensify as Burma 'Reform' Races Ahead of Law (link 1)
20: Strikes over pay and conditions at garment factories in Yangon (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
22: Protest against blackouts in Mandalay, Yangon / Rangoon, and other towns and cities (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6) (link 7) (link 8) (link 9) (link 10) (link 11) (link 12) (link 13) (link 14) (link 15) (link 16) (link 17) (link 18) (link 19) (link 20) (link 21) (link 22) (link 23) (link 24) (link 25) (link 26)
25: Hunger strike over wages at steel factory in Yangon / Rangoon (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
28: Strikes in Yangon / Rangoon in May (link 1)
31: Strike at Hi Mo wig factory in Rangoon continues (link 1)

Cambodia

1: Protest against land seizures (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5)
1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1)
3: Strikes in several garment factories over working conditions (link 1)
8: Strike over benefits in Kandal province (link 1)
10: Strike over pay and conditions at Su Tong Fang Fabrik in Phnom Penh (link 1)
16: Protest against land seizure in the east - teenage girl killed (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6) (link 7) (link 8)
18: Strike over working conditions by garment workers at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) in Phnom Penh (link 1)
21: Strike over pay and conditions at SL Garment factory in Phnom Penh (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5)
24: Protest against imprisoning of protesters against land seizure in Phnom Penh (link 1)
24: Strike over working conditions and right to organise at Honda NCX factory in Choam Chao (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)
29: Strike over wages at SL garment strike in Phnom Penh resumes (link 1)
31: Protest against arrest of land rights protesters in Phnom Penh (link 1)

China

1: Strike by taxi drivers over fuel queues in Lanzhou, Gansu province (link 1)
1: Strikes and protests at Foxconn in April (link 1)
1: Protest for increased pension in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province (link 1)
1: International Workers' Day Protest in Hong Kong (link 1) (link 2)
1: Protest against police brutality in Chengdu (link 1)
3: Summary of strikes in April (link 1)
3: Hunger Strike by petitioners (link 1)
8: Protest over burial laws in Guangdong (link 1)
8: Protests against land seizures in Sichuan and Hubei Provinces (link 1)
8: Strike over pay and corruption at FAW-GM Hongta Automobile Factory in Qujing, Yunnan (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)
9: Protest against closure of factories by workers in Yunnan (link 1)
10: Suicide bombing against forced demolition (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6)
14: Protest by construction workers against food sellers being attacked in Jiangsu Province (link 1)
14: China's workers' movement continues to develop away from the international headlines (link 1)
14: Collective Labour Incidents Map (link 1)
14: Protest over medical malpractice and police action in Guiyang, Guizhou (link 1)
15: Protest over land seizures in Fuzhou, Fujian Province (link 1)
16: Protest against corruption in Shenzhen, Guangdong (link 1)
23: Protest and student strike against local government in Zhaoqing, Guangdong (link 1)
23: Protest against land seizure in Yunnan (link 1)
25: Protest against police brutality in Zhuhai, Guangdong (link 1)
28: Protest against coal power station in Hainan (link 1)
28: Chongqing model - a capitalist model under a 'red' cover (link 1)
28: Protest over death in custody in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province (link 1) (link 2)
29: Protest over working conditions by teachers in Guilin, Guangxi (link 1)
30: Factory closures stir China labor disputes (link 1)
30: Protest over death of migrant worker in Rui'an, Zhejiang Province (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6) (link 7) (link 8) (link 9) (link 10)
30: Strike over wages by santation workers in Dazhou, Sichuan (link 1) (link 2)
31: Protest against market evicting in Ningbo, Zhejiang (link 1)

East Timor

1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1)

Indonesia

1: International Workers' Day Protests (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6) (link 7) (link 8) (link 9) (link 10) (link 11)
5: Strike and protest over firing of union official at PT SC Enterprise in Klaten (link 1)
7: Armed attack in land dispute (link 1) (link 2)
8: Strike over wages at Pindo Deli paper mill (link 1)
9: Strike over pay at Paper Mills in Karawang (link 1)
10: Protest against land seizure in Riau (link 1)
12: Protest by non-permanent workers and teachers over fund (link 1)
14: Strike against change in management at PT Merpati Nusantara Airline (link 1) (link 2)
22: Protest over land seizure in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)
27: Protest over corruption at port by truck drivers in Sumatra (link 1) (link 2)
29: Protest over land rights and against new naval base in Pasuruan (link 1)
31: Protest against fuel price rises blocks main coal-carrying rivers (link 1) (link 2)
31: Strike over appointment of manager at Texpia garment factory in Subang (link 1) (link 2)

Japan

5: Protest against nuclear power in Tokyo (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)

Malaysia

1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
4: Strike over depot charges by truckers at Port Klang (link 1) (link 2)
15: Protest over land rights in Kuching, Sarawak (link 1)
29: Protest against planned chemical factory (link 1)

Philippines

1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6)
4: Protest for workers rights at meeting of Asian Development Bank in Manila (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
15: Strike against union-busting at radio network (link 1)
15: Protest against military in Luzon (link 1)
18: Strike over right to organise at Co Ban Kiat hardware supplier in Manila (link 1)

South Korea

1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1) (link 2)
12: Strike against censorship and bias continues by media workers at KBS, MBC and YTN (link 1) (link 2)
15: Strike against bank merger by bank workers of Woori Financial Group in Seoul (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)
17: Strike over pay and conditions by bus drivers in Seoul (link 1)
19: Protest in solidarity with SsangYong (link 1)

Taiwan

1: International Workers' Day Protest (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)
12: Protests against working conditions by nurses in Taichung and Taipei (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
19: Protest against new government in Taipei (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4) (link 5) (link 6) (link 7)
26: Protest against development of park in Taipei (link 1)
29: Protest against science park water diversion plan in Changhua (link 1)

Thailand

1: Protest against dam in Phuket (link 1)
9: Protest against lese majeste law in Bangkok (link 1) (link 2)
13: Strike over wages and working conditions at SD Fashion/Idea Garment factory in Mae Sot, Tak Province (link 1)
14: Protest over land dispute in Nua Khlong district in Krabi (link 1)
21: Protest for reinstatement of fired workers at Shin-ei High Tech automotive factory in Nakhon Ratchasima (link 1) (link 2)

Vietnam

9: Protest over land seizure in Nam Dinh province (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) (link 4)
10: Protest over land seizure near Hanoi (link 1)
12: Protest over land seizure in Da Nang City (link 1) (link 2)
23: Strike at Matrix Limited Company toy factory in Nghe An province (link 1)

Comments

Soe
Jun 5 2012 14:25

Regarding the Hi-Mo factory strike in Myanmar, there's a video available online of the workers (nearly all female), who have barricaded the owner in his office, shouting down the government official sent to deal with the strike. The owner and managers can be seen at 1:22 minutes into the video locked inside the office.

jonthom
Jun 5 2012 15:43

One point: I've noticed some articles (such as this and this on the protests against electricity cuts in Burma/Myanmar) are from Radio Free Asia, which as best I can tell is funded by, and supports the line and goals of, the US govt. Which in all honesty does make me think twice about some of the articles in question.

That said, I've really appreciated having this blog to hand as a way of being aware of struggles we'd otherwise know nothing about.

Spartacus
Jun 10 2012 14:48

Yes, I suppose I should make it clear that pretty much none of these sources are written from a libertarian communist, or even vaguely 'objective' perspective. Most are the local equivalents of national media in the West, and of the apparently more progressive, most are either trots or as you say, funded by various governments (even the invaluable China Labour Bulletin is I believe), so should be read with this in mind.

I intend these posts mainly as an overview or murky glimpse to inspire further research in what is happening in Asia, not a definitive guide. Hopefully others (or even myself) with more time can dig deeper and find other more reliable sources (I'm always open to suggestions, though preferably ones with RSS feeds). And if nothing else, I'm glad it makes people aware of the struggles occurring, and goes someway towards dispelling the myth of the passive, poor hard working Asian proletariat awaiting liberation from the West/Maoists/Lady Gaga (delete as appropriate).

baboon
Jun 10 2012 15:37

I think that this is a great service and we won't, at this stage anyway, be getting any "pure" working class information through. I used the China Labour Bulletin - a supporter of "Free Trade Unions" - extensively for a recent article for the ICC.
Link if anyone's interested: http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201204/4837/china-intensification-workers-struggles