Thousands of workers protest over increased cost of factory meals

Several thousand workers at Alco Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong-owned electronics factory in Dongguan, in Guangdong province, went on strike and protested outside the factory on Tuesday 27 November. The workers were protesting against the bosses’ decision to deduct between 250 and 300 yuan from employees’ wages for the provision of meals. Riot police were called in after protesters sat in the middle of the road, causing a massive traffic jam.

Dramatic pictures sent to show the massive police mobilisation against the mostly young workforce. Eyewitness reports say several strikers were bitten by police dogs and struck by batons. The police strike-breaking action seems to have been exceptionally brutal. Unconfirmed reports say a woman worker was seriously injured with a cracked skull.

The struggle shows once again the heroism of Chinese workers, often paperless migrants from the impoverished countryside, who are increasingly standing up to the bosses and fighting for improvements in their deplorable conditions. This dispute also shows the explosive potential of resurgent inflation in China, especially for food prices which rose 17.5 percent in the last month.

See pictures here .