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china factory unrest flares as global economy slows
In the factories and towns of China\'s Pearl River Delta export powers, the vicious cycle of slowing Western orders and rising wage pressures has led to a series of major strikes that may cause repercussions in the economy.
From shoe factories in eastern Guangdong province, known as the \"China world factory\", to a group of watches, sports and electronics factories in the south and west, hundreds of people, even thousands of workers have paralyzed the production of major Western brands.
A Reuters team visited four factory towns in the region this week and found significant signs of industrial tension, despite security guards trying to prevent workers from entering.
These pressures highlight a recent warning from a senior official in Guangdong and a nationwide survey --
In November, the most serious contraction since 2009.
Giant shoe factory controlled by Yueyuan industry in Huangjiang Town-
Major suppliers of new balance of sports brands-
After most of the 8,000 workers took to the streets on Thursday, blocked roads, overturned cars and clashed with police, the mood remained tense.
Security guards patrolling the sprawling industrial zone rode motorcycles, preventing two Reuters journalists from mixing with workers in a lakeside area surrounded by food joints and dormitories, eventually forcing them to leave.
At least four factory workers spoke to Reuters, including two who gobbled up a bowl of steaming chili noodles in the alley near the factory, saying striking workers punched in, but refused to work on the assembly line.
\"We are willing to work, but you have to pay enough to survive,\" said one of the optimists . \"
A cheeky woman in a pink jacket
\"To ensure the quality of basic life, even Wen said,\" she added, referring to the Chinese premier . \". A middle-
The elderly male colleague sitting next to her said: \"Even during the financial crisis, we have not seen such pressure.
One of the world\'s largest shoemaker says orders are still healthy and have a \"small\" impact \".
However, it acknowledges that in areas such as Guangdong, where cost pressures, I . e. wages, are increasing, another round of increases in the minimum wage in January 1 may cause further blows to factory owners.
Experts and the labor advocacy group have warned that debt will slow the external economy.
Countries such as Europe and the United States, which have been hit hard, are likely to exacerbate the risk of social unrest in China.
Apart from labor disputes in Guangdong province
Key engine of China\'s economic growth matching Indonesia\'s GDP
In recent months, riots in Lufeng caused by rural land acquisition and abuse of power for several hours in Zengcheng city to the West have led to angry crowds ransacked government buildings.
Former deputy editor-in-
The head of the official party newspaper People\'s Daily said that the number of \"mass incidents\" in China is an official euphemism for social chaos, with more than 90,000 per year from 2007 to 2009.
Although strikes have been relatively frequent in Chinese factory towns, including last year\'s series of wildcat actions affecting major global companies such as Honda, the current labor riots have taken place in the context of a darker global economic background and a tight domestic credit environment in China.
The global supply chain means
The rapid tightening in the West has led to fewer orders for Chinese factories.
The cost of the factory will be higher and higher as time decreases
Chinese workers are increasingly hit by continued inflation, and they are often not in the mood to compromise.
Consulting firm Exclusive Analysis said in a recent report that it believes there is an increasing risk of \"violent labor riots\" at Chinese factories and property losses, adding: \"Real
Due to a decline in Western export demand and a decline in the ability of striking workers and companies to meet workers\' needs, time use of social media may trigger such violence.
\"Europe\'s economic woes, the fragility of Chinese manufacturing and the weakness in US consumer spending all add to the risk of a sharp decline in the world economy.
Donna Kwok, an economist at HSBC, said that while Labor riots may not have a significant impact on economic growth so far, \"what is happening in the euro zone and the United States\"S.
This poses a more serious threat to China\'s manufacturing industry, especially if both of China\'s biggest export markets are in recession at the same time . \"
The Hong Kong Federation of Industry recently warned that the third of about 50,000 Hong Kong enterprises --
Self-owned factories adjacent to Guangdong and other parts of China could scale down or close by the end of this year, which could jeopardize the work of thousands of migrant workers.
With 0. 15 billion Chinese migrant workers working hard in factories across the country, any economic slowdown could have a profound impact.
\"Massive factory layoffs will lead to increased protests and social unrest in Chinese cities and rural areas, especially with the stimulus of those laid-off workers --
Workers outside the factory and other socially marginalized migrant workers, \"wrote Li Qiang of the United States. S. -
Labor advocacy, based in China Labor Watch.
So far, with the exception of the strike zone, the labor market in the smoggy Pearl River Delta factory towns has been relatively calm and there is little evidence of mass layoffs or broader unrest.
However, the pressure on livelihoods in immigrant workers\' communities is increasing.
Rising food prices are a common topic in eating and dormitory buildings.
Reuters reporters in Guangdong have heard many complaints about cutting overtime pay and bonuses, which is crucial for many workers, as basic wages are usually set at 1,100 yuan ($170)per month —
Or $6 a day.
In Hong Kong-
Top bra factory listed, strike of hundreds of female factory workers centered on lower wages of workers
The project base, while striking at jingmo Electronics, the main supplier of Apple\'s keyboard, Shajing, said managers forced them to work late in the week to save double wages on weekends.
\"The bosses in Taiwan are very nervous --
Zeng Yanbing, a worker at the technology company, said the police watched him outside the factory.
\"They don\'t provide food. . .
They reduced our welfare.
Zuo hao, a Dongguan recruiter close to the striking shoe factory, said that as orders fell, many factories forced workers to take time off and then cut wages or benefits.
In a family-
A stone\'s throw from the Beijing mould factory, the old price on the menu was scribbled because the cost of rice, flour, chicken and vegetables was getting higher and higher.
Ye Wenji, 20, said: \"There are a lot less workers eating here now. year-
Son of the boss.
\"If they don\'t work overtime, my business here is not good,\" he said . \" He pointed out that a plate of mutton noodles is 10 yuan, which is almost the fifth of the daily salary for some workers.
If inflation is not that serious, some striking workers in Shenzhen\'s Songgang-led Sports Factory-said they would not fight back because of their jobs --
They said the bonuses mysteriously disappeared from the recent paychecks.
A 38-year-old said: \"I don\'t eat meat now to save money . \"year-
The factory, an old mother of two children, makes sporting goods for the United States. S. -K2 ice skates
\"I just buy vegetables, oil and rice,\" she told Reuters on a dusty highway . \"
\"Every little thing is very important to us. . .
\"We can no longer be passive,\" said another worker surnamed Liu, who nodded and promised to strike again the next day. ($1 = 6.
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