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The first signs of real trade unions and factory strikes may signal the end of China's low cost, low human rights advantage.
Chinese Workers Demanding Better Wages, Conditions, Real Union Protections
By Lijia Zhang
Repost from The Guardian (UK) | Comment Is Free
When I became a worker at a rocket factory back in 1980, aged 16, workers enjoyed cradle-to-grave social welfare and a much higher status. We were hailed as "the masters of the nation".Commoditization of labor versus workers as the dominant factor rather than capital.
During the free-market era, the state-owned factories laid off excess workers. Those who kept their jobs complained about low salaries, rising labour intensity and the lack of job security. But they are generally better off than workers in the private sector, which now employs 70% of the workforce. The employees at Foxconn worked up to 16 hours a day, in silence (talking was forbidden), with only a few minutes for toilet breaks. Socialism's "masters of the nation" have been reduced to cheap commodities in this cold-hearted capitalism.