Working Conditions in China

June 17, 2010

The Editors in Room for Debate express varied opinions about “What Do China’s Workers Want?”

Worker strikes at Honda plants and suicides at a PRC Foxconn facility, a Taiwan owned company, have made splashes in the global media lately. I read what the five editors had to say and sided with Leslie T. Chang, author of Factory Girls. Her experience speaks for itself and lends weight to her opinion. Chang spent three years following the successes, hardships and heartbreaks of two teenage girls, Min and Chunming, migrants working the assembly lines in Dongguan, one of the new factory cities that have sprung up all over China.

Chang says, “It is important not to interpret the recent spate of worker suicides as protests against factory conditions. In my experience, the greatest pressure on workers comes from interpersonal and emotional concerns rather than conditions inside the factory, which workers tend to take for granted.” 

I recommend clicking on the link for “Room for Debate” and reading what Chang and the others editors say. I agree with Chang’s assessment because of the importance of family in a culture heavily influenced by Confucianism.

See Middle Kingdom Wages Rising


Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning My Splendid Concubine and writes The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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