Honda parts plant in China has pressured school interns not to strike

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

School interns at a Honda Motor Co. parts plant in China are being urged not to join the strike and to stay with the company, according to a report from the South China Morning Post.

Because of labor discontent, a strike started on May 22 and Honda's factories in China were shut down.

Last Thursday, letters were distributed to interns, who comprise over 50% of the workforce at the parts factory in Foshan. The Morning Post confirmed this after conducting interviews with the workers, aged 19-20 years old, in Guangdong province.

For not participating in the strike, interns were promised to receive monthly pay increases of more than 400 yuan (approximately $60).

The Morning Post spoke with a fulltime worker who confirmed that the workers were demanding for a raise of 800 to 1,000 yuan a month. The letter also threatened striking interns that they would be subject to the mainland's labor law.

Labor disputes at foreign firms are on the rise in China (the country with the fastest growing economy), stemming from demands for higher pay and better working conditions.

After the 10th worker this year committed suicide last week, Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry announced that workers' salaries would be raised by 20% at its Foxconn unit in southern China.

Meanwhile, a Honda spokesman stated that there is no timetable yet on when production will resume. According to a union leader, striking workers aren't expected to go back to work soon.

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