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Monday, 10 March 2014 11:51

IBM suffers strike in China

Written by Nick Farrell



Workers take matters into their own hands

Things appear to be changing in mainland China and IBM is one of the first to suffer. Reports are coming in of a wildcat strike at an IBM factory in southern China. It seems that the workers are taking matters into their own hands and dealing with the imperialist multinationals directly rather than the toothless union system.

More than 1,000 workers walked off the job last week at the factory in Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong, after managers on March 3 announced the terms of their transfer to new ownership under Chinese PC maker Lenovo. Lenovo agreed in January to pay $2.3 billion for IBM’s low-end server business. There is a labour shortage in China and smartphones and social media have helped workers organize and made them more aware than ever of the changing environment.

After being exploited for so long, are now more and more aware of their rights and united.

IBM said last week the terms offered to the workers at the International System Technology Company factory in Shenzhen were "comparable in aggregate to what they currently are receiving" and severance packages would be "equitable". The impetus for a strike was underpinned by the fact that the factory branch of the state-backed union was seen as a farce. The state-backed All-China Federation of Trade Unions and its affiliates have a reputation for being ineffectual and siding with management.

Nick Farrell

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