Monday, April 28, 2014

CBC (The Current) interview on Yue Yuen strike

On Monday April 28, I went to CBC's studio in Midtown Manahattan to chat with The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti about the progress of the hitoric Yue Yuen strike. The entire segment on the story can be listened to hear:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NBC News interview on progressing Yue Yuen Strike

As it entered the 40,000-strong Yue Yuen shoe factory strike entered its second week, NBC New's Alastair Jamieson interviewed me on some aspects of the protest. The full article is below.

Worsening China Factory Strike Threatens Adidas, Nike Sneakers

BEIJING - A wage dispute at a huge sneaker factory that supplies brands including Adidas and Nike escalated Wednesday, highlighting the growing problems faced by China’s manufacturing powerhouse. 

Workers at the plant – owned by the world's largest maker of sneakers, Yue Yuen – earn as little as $1.67 an hour making shoes that can sell for up to 100 times as much in the United States. 

Tens of thousands of employees have been off work for a second week, forcing Adidas to switch production to some of its other suppliers. At least one organizer was arrested by police and has not been seen for 24 hours, activists told NBC News Wednesday after a settlement offer was rejected. 

At the core of the dispute is the issue of historic underpayments for social security and housing fund contributions, but the issue goes far beyond the shoe plant. 

Workers throughout China are demanding not just higher wages but better social insurance as they face the prospect of supporting a rapidly aging population.
“The fact that something as nuanced as social insurance has led to a strike shows just how much things are changing,” said Kevin Slaten of U.S.-based non-profit China Labor Watch. “This generation of workers is a lot more aware of its rights and this problem is not unique to this factory.” 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Interview on BBC World News about massive Chinese shoe factory strike

On April 15, 2014, a day after a Dongguan shoe factory strike began that would continue ont April 28 and involve about 40,000 worker, BBC World News interviewed me about the event.