Workers' struggles in Asia (December 2010)

Casual workers at a Hyundai factory in South Korea staging a sit-in strike.
Casual workers at a Hyundai factory in South Korea staging a sit-in strike.

Summary and links to news stories of workers' struggles around Asia (focusing on East Asia) during December 2010 and related resources. The most important stories appear on my Twitter feed as soon as I find them:

Submitted by Spartacus on December 31, 2010

This month has seen strikes in Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Korea, and Vietnam , while in the Philippines the president forced the cancellation of a strike by flight crew (although in the end they appear to have come out best for the moment. Days after the student fees demonstration in London, students in the Philippines were also protesting against budget cuts. Meanwhile in China there has been a teachers' protest, online anger at an activist's death (complete with homemade manga) and a report that people are losing faith in government.

Please note that in a change from my previous practice, only the most important and interesting stories are posted on my Twitter feed, usually 1 to 5 stories every couple of days - they are highlighted in bold in the summary below. Extra coverage, analysis and less important stories I have kept for this summary so as not to crowd the feed.

Analysis, resources and other stuff

For analysis of the auto worker strikes in China this article isn't too bad, while those looking for something to watch might want to try India: MANY STRAWS MAKE A NEST: Proletarian Unrest in Delhi's Industrial Belt.

If you missed it husunzi posted The Alternative Education of a Chinese Punk (an alternative translation is here: ), an insight into what it's like to be a punk in China. Something else that might be worth adding to the library is the online poem doing the rounds on the Chinese internet: “You, Us”.

After reading that you may wonder how Chinese internet users bypass official censorship so you can check out China Digital Times' Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, which documents the widespread use of homonyms and other idiosyncrasies of the Chinese language to encode online discussions of social issues and other sensitive subjects.

An even more intriguing resource for libcom readers will be the China Strikes site (found by a poster on China Study Group). This project aims to plot the times and locations of strikes reported around China. Although a lot more ambitious, does anyone think something similar could be done for strikes, protests, occupations and other events around the world since the onset of the current crisis?

Finally, if you want a more unusual calendar for the coming year why not consider buying this one? Produced by CIRA Japana, an anarchist documentation centre in Tokyo, it's themed around Japanese anarchists who lived through World War II.

libcom articles

Bangladesh: Cloth dyed in blood
China: The Alternative Education of a Chinese Punk

World Socialist Web Site Asia Summaries

WSWS: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific 4th of December
WSWS: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific 11th of December
WSWS: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific 18th of December
WSWS: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific 24th of December
WSWS: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific 31st of December

South Asia

10: India: Lessons of the Stalinist CITU’s betrayal of the Foxconn and BYD strikes:
12: Bangladesh: Garment workers protest low pay
12: Bangladesh: CEPZ erupts in violence, 3 killed
12: Bangladesh: RMG workers go berserk
12: Bangladesh: One dead as Bangladeshi garment workers protest pay (Roundup)
12: Bangladesh: 1 dead as Bangladesh garment workers protest low pay

13: Bangladesh: Six Korean firms hit by Bangladesh protests
13: Bangladesh: Bangladesh cops kill three in pay protest

14: Bangladesh Labor Riot Reasons May Impact China
17: Bangladesh: Factory fire and police killings fuel discontent among Bangladeshi garment workers


Villagers injured during a protest against a land seizue in Boeung Kak

November: Garment workers facing ruthless victimisation…
3: Nearly 800 Cambodian garment workers fired over strike
22: Thousands of poor people lose their homes to real estate development and plantation farming
23: Boeung Kak protest erupts
26: Villagers block sugar firm

29: Protest over giant land concession


Homemade manga about a Chinese land rights activist

November: Zimbabwean workers protest over treatment by Chinese companies
November: Activist Beaten in Attack
November: Miners Shot in Yunnan; Miners Rescued in Sichuan
November: Migrant Families Complain about Educational Exclusion ... -
November: Health worker’s nine-year petitioning ordeal ends in psychiatric hospital []
November: For China’s Women, More Opportunities, More Pitfalls « -
November: Latest Directives from the Ministry of Truth, November... -
November: Guangdong ponders another increase in the minimum wage []
November: Once again, labour issues hot topic in domestic media []
November: The Cost of Coal in China «
November: Wages, conditions improve as workers in China form unions
1: Mechanism to set delta wage floor urged []
1: AIDS Patients Petition for Better Services « -
3: China’s City Workers Prefer Rural Roots « -
3: Young Man in Detention Dies of “Suffocation by Quilt” «
3: Protest in Hong kong Against Chinese Mining in Tibet
6: Latest Directives from the Ministry of Truth, November 29-December 6, 2010 «
8: Explosion at state-owned coal mine kills 26 []
13: Forced labour reported in remote Xinjiang factory []
14: Latest Directives From the Ministry of Truth, December 10, 2010 «
15: The glaring need for greater vigilance against labour trafficking in China
15: Tips on Drinking Tea with Police «
15: China mulls having courts rule on disputed forced demolitions to curtail local gov't powers
16: Adding insult to injury: Workers denied justice and detained after self-mutilation protest
19: Neither Washington nor the Party State
19: Class war in the new China
19: HF Hung on class relations and the democracy movement in HK
19: Photo Collection: “The History of Forced Demolition in China” «
19: WikiLeaks cable highlights fears in Beijing over social fragility
19: Land seizures are the main cause of social unrest in China
19: Deconstructing Modernization
22: Finding the Facts About Mao’s Victims
22: ‘Father’ of China’s Great Firewall Shouted Off Own Microblog
22: Collective contract highlights problems of underpaid hospital workers in China
23: Teachers Protest in Zhengzhou
23: Teenage worker arrested after allegedly stabbing boss to death

24: The Kids of Foxconn
24: Prices Could Spark Unrest
24: Stanley Lubman: China’s War on Dissent and Activism
27: Auto Worker Strikes in China: What Did They Win?
27: People losing faith in government

27: Experts to file land seizure regulation proposal
27: A Cameroonian Journalist, Abused and Disabused in China
27: UN concerned about China's food safety activists
27: Behind the Li Gang Case, Part 1: Chen Family Forced to Drop Suit
28: Suspicious Death Ignites Fury in China
28:Anger Over Activist's Death

28: China Frees Father Zhao Lianhai Jailed for Milk Protest
28: Milk Dad 'Out On Parole'
28: Beijing to increase municipal minimum wage, pensions and welfare benefits
28: Chinese Use Internet to Show their Political Dissent
28: Behind the Li Gang Case, Part 2: Family Goes Silent, Legal Rumblings
28: Beijing to increase municipal minimum wage, pensions and welfare benefits
29: Season of Hardship Connects Struggling Workers in Two Worlds
29: China’s New Netizens Voice Suspicions over Death of Village Chief
29: Outcry grows over death of land rights campaigner in China
29: Tiananmen Mother Held 74 Days
29: 'Great Firewall' Extends Reach
30: Shanghai Pushing Gold to $1,600 Thwarts Fight to Shut Mines
30: Beijing warning on HK activism stirs outcry
30: China To Go After Internet Phone Services
30: Chinese Censorship Worsens in 2010


8: Thousands of Workers PT Djarum Strike (translated)
13: Indonesian police suspects groups provoked students to rampage in Makassar riot

14: Hundreds of Plantation Workers Strike in Indragiri Hulu (translated)
14: Hundreds of demonstrators Forced Entry Rokan Hulu District Head Office (translated
14: Why Student Protests in Britain Matter in Indonesia
19: Hundreds of PT Micro Garment Workers Demand Salary Increase (translated)
21: Thousands of residents of the rubber factory PT Bumi Nusa Makmur protested and demanded the immediate closure of the factory. Within a radius of 3 km it stinks. The demonstrators marched to the factory, threw rotten eggs and stones and burned tires. When trying to storm the factory, they clashed with the police. ([url=|en&tbb=1&ie=UTF-8%5dtranslated]translated with Google translate from Indonesian)
22:Hundreds of PDAM Employees Hold Protest

24: Outsourcing sees permanent jobs in formal sector drop to 35 percent
30: Torture seen as norm: Report


19: ANA group pilots on domestic flights drop strike plan
22: Big step forward for JAL - But union anger at job cuts could impede process


12: New dam on Nam Theun River opens, environmentalists protest


5: Police fire tear gas on opposition protest


November: Students clash with cops, PSG in Baguio
8: PAL dispute deteriorating, Palace says
9: 86% of PALEA members agree to strike
9: PAL says holiday bookings up by 10% as ground workers prepare to strike
13: Students protesting budget cuts disrupt PNoy visit to technohub
13: Aquino booed as students protest SUC budget cuts
13: Filipino students protest cuts -
13: Aquino booed a second time by students protesting funding cuts
13: Trike drivers cause chaos in Manila

13: Another 'strike' looms, this time for Customs employees at NAIA
13: Detained health worker rushed to hospital on 6th day of hunger strike
13: Cops should not lose cool during protests
13: PAL workers' march against contractualisation
13: Workers protest contract labour
13: PALEA threatens to stage protest actions anew
13: Back-channel efforts ongoing to avert PAL strike
13: PAL union votes to go on strike
15: Aquino takes over PAL labor row; stops strike, layoffs
17: Workers protest contract labour
22: Manila Standard Today -- 8 labor strikes mark peaceful 2010
25: Philippine activists declare war against US coined counter-insurgency
27: 40 workers ‘escape’ strikers on chopper to spend Christmas at home
27: Philippine Airlines told to increase crew salary

27: Jubilant PAL attendants lift strike threat
27: FASAP drops strike plan after DOLE resolves retirement age issue
27: Christmas treat: DOLE favors PAL flight crew in discrimination issue
28: OFWs in Madagascar stage strike vs firm, seek repatriation

South Korea

November: Hyundai Motor stuck in temps’ strike
9: UAW: Korean workers’ fight is our fight
10: Occupation of Korean Hyundai Plant Comes to a Close
10: Bankers in action to protect themselves
16: ‘Precarious’ autoworkers end heroic sit-down
17: Hyundai Workers in South Korea End Monthlong Strike
19: `Just the first round' by `irregular workers' at Hyundai Motors
19: 'We are not human machines'- migrant rights demo
24: South Korea's First Nuclear Repository Goes Into Operation Despite Protest


Sacked Japan Air Lines employees holding up ox dung at a protest against their illegal dismissal

14: Hundreds clash over Taiwan petrochemical project
15: : Brawl breaks out at Kuokuang protest - The China Post
28: Sacked JAL flight attendants to protest on New Year's Day
28: Former Japan Airlines employees stage protest


24: Thailand’s Civil servants allowed to form labour unions
27: Farmers Threaten To Dump Paddy At Government House To Protest Falling Rice Price


27: 24,000 Vietnam workers strike at S.Korean plants
29: Anger over Tet bonuses leads to strikes in FIEs




13 years 6 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Spartacus on December 31, 2010

it won't let me edit it again at the moment, so here's the link to the WSWS summary posted a bit after i posted this entry:

WSWS: Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific 31st of December


13 years 6 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by husunzi on January 2, 2011

Thanks for all this, as usual. And thanks for helping to publicize Many Straws Make a Nest. I started a thread about this here but it hasn't gotten much attention - probably not many people follow the "history & culture" forum.

By the way, the Qian Yunhui cartoon says "Take a trip to Leqing!" It's said to be based on a poster for the film Let the Bullets Fly:

Finally, thanks for the credit but it wasn't I who first translated and posted "Alternative Education of a Chinese Punk" here, that was ezapata, but I did revise the translation and post it on CSG.


13 years 6 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Spartacus on January 7, 2011

thanks for the translation, i could read 2 of the characters but one i don't know and the other is simplified so i wasn't sure. that film looks awesome!

i saw your revision of the article on csg so assumed it was yours here too as i couldn't see another username there. cheers for the clarification anyway!