Chinese Labor: Entering Modern Day


For years we have heard about the horrible labor conditions of third world countries.  That people are being forced to work long hours in slave labor conditions for wages that are drastically lower than corporations can pay in America.

We never hear, of course, that these laborers voluntarily put down their farming tools and made their way to the cities to find this work.  This work, that they hope, will transform their lives from one back-breaking agricultural labor to one of living the middle class dream.

We hear horror stories of how the workers are being abused and taken advantage of.  Companies are forcing long hours, sub standard pay and living conditions that are despicable.  I’m sure that in some cases workers are having their Liberties restricted or removed.  They they are being coerced by force to work and live unwillingly.  In these cases, I fully support legal action against the company.

However, for the most part, companies are finding willing workers to willingly work jobs and hours for advertised pay.

And, as predicted, the labor markets are becoming more and more modern:

ZHONGSHAN, China — It is labor revolt by text message and video upload, underwritten by the Chinese government.

The 1,700 workers who went on strike at the Honda Lock auto parts factory here are mostly poor migrants with middle-school educations.

These workers, poor migrants with little or no education, are banding together in an effort to increase their wages and improve working conditions.  And they are doing it with some of the most modern technologies that we have today:

They fired off cellphone text messages urging colleagues to resist pressure from factory bosses. They logged onto a state-controlled Web site — workercn.cn — that is emerging as a digital hub of the Chinese labor movement. And armed with desktop computers, they uploaded video of Honda Lock’s security guards roughing up employees.

“We videotaped the strike with our cellphones and decided to post the video online to let other people know how unfairly we were treated,” said a 20-year-old Honda employee…

As more and more workers are brought out of abject poverty, they will continue to demand a better quality of life and will strive to improve their lot.  These workers are improving their lives not through oppressive State controlled economies, but by the promise of the rewards of the free market.

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2 comments
  1. D.I.D. said:

    Their progress will be hindered, however, because in many cases the state is in the pocket of some corporate groups, and they thus can steam over the labour movement without significant political retribution.

    • pino said:

      Their progress will be hindered

      To the degree that China is not strictly free, you are right. However, where the workers DO have their Liberty, they are exercising it. And as they do, they are making more money and leaving bone crushing poverty by the millions.

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