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Chinese Workers Winning Substantial Wage Increases

Labor unrest is spreading across parts of China, with workers demanding higher wages and better working conditions.

Honda is giving their workers a 24 percent increase.

At the south China plant where ten workers committed suicide this year, employees are being promised a 30 percent raise in pay. Top customer Apple, who says the facility was “not a sweatshop,” expressed concern about the deaths and has launched an investigation, as have other large customers, which include Dell. Reasons for the suicides are not clear and may not be related to wages, say analysts.

Strikes continue to widen as more workers hear about the success of others in gaining substantially higher pay, and they show little fear of repercussions from their demands.

There is speculation that higher costs in China will cause companies from the U.S., Japan, Taiwan and other countries to move the production of their goods to other locations where labor costs are relatively lower, such as Vietnam or Bangladesh.

Washington Post, Washington Post, New York Times, Wired

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