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Chinese Workers Strike: An Event of Historic Proportions
Charlie Kernaghan of the National Labor Committee urges everyone to send a message to Honda management to negotiate in good faith with striking workers.
By Ed Knudson
In the American political consciousness there is little awareness of the direct connection between what has been happening in China and the tax policies in this country. The Republican Party and the Tea Party movement are completely committed to lower taxes for the wealthy. The idea is that if those who have money to invest have to pay lower taxes they will have more money to invest in productive economic activity in this country, providing more jobs and income to Americans.
There is only one little problem with this idea, it hasn't worked. The weathly whose taxes have been lowered more and more since the days of Ronald Reagon (under Eisenhower the top tax rate was 91%; today investors pay only 15% on their capital gains) have decided to take their money elsewhere, like China, where they think they can make a higher rate of return. So China has grown and the economy of the United States has suffered. Building cranes are all over China, not so much in the cities of the United States.
And China is a Communist country! Glenn Beck and other right wing media talkers claim that Obama and Democrats are socialists and Communists, but it is the capitalist class that has decided to invest in a Communist country which is able to control its workers.
Now those workers are beginning to strike at a Honda plant in China. They deserve the support of everyone concerned with justice in the economic realm. Charlie Kernaghan of the National Labor Committee has sent the dispatch below urging everyone to contact the management of Honda in support of the workers.
FROM: Charlie Kernaghan
Please sign this joint letter to Honda's CEO in Japan. Tell him to do the right thing: End the threats of violence and firings. Negotiate in good faith.
China's factory model over the last 20 years-of grueling hours, seven-day workweeks, below-subsistence wages, prison-like discipline, primitive living conditions and zero rights-may be cracking. The All China Federation of Trade Unions is now openly being discussed as a shill for the government. A very knowledgeable activist in China told us that the strike at Honda is "an event of historic proportions!"
"This strike is not a pure struggle over money, but also involves demands to reform the workers' union. It reflects the fact that the struggle of China's working class (made up of mostly migrant laborers) has developed to the stage where workers are demanding organization. We are closely monitoring the development and aftermath of this situation. The Honda strike has huge significance for China's workers. Many Chinese workers are closely following this strike."We need to support the workers striking the Honda Lock factory in China as they develop a genuine grassroots movement for better wages and real worker unions.
The Honda Lock factory in Zhongshan, China exports tons of auto parts to the huge Honda Lock warehouse in Bremen, Georgia. From there the key sets, outside door handles, door locks, door mirrors and wheel sensors made in China are shipped out across the U.S. and Canada. So we have an absolute right to raise our voices, since the auto parts are pouring into North America.
And it is more important than ever that we raise our voices since the Chinese Government is now censoring all news accounts of growing strikes across China.
China's workers are attempting what all the economic pundits say is necessary: struggling to improve working conditions and wages so that we lift all shifts in the global economy and end the race to the bottom.
The workers at Honda Lock in China earn just 67 cents an hour, $5.38 a day, $27 a week. No one can live with even a modicum of dignity on such wages. The striking workers are demanding at least a 50 percent wage increase, which would bring their hourly wage up to $1.34 an hour-or $10.76 a day and $54 a week. Surely Honda could afford this.
Just think of what a different and more human world it would be if workers all across North America, Japan and China were united.
Sign letter to Honda management
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