The Washington Post: Strikes and Workers’ Protests Multiply in China, Testing Party Authority

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The Washington Post article featured comments from IEMS Director Albert Park on the reasons behind the growing sense of anger and disillusionment felt within China’s labor class. As mentioned in the article, Albert Park commented:

Many of the underlying problems predate the last quarter, according to Albert Park, director of the Institute for Emerging Market Studies at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

A survey by HKUST and Beijing’s Tsinghua University of nearly 600 factories in Guangdong conducted last August found that, although the profits picture was mixed, companies had trimmed their workforce by 3.7 percent in 2014. Labor-intensive sectors were the hardest hit, with employment in textiles falling more than 10 percent.

The main problem firms cited was rising wages: Guangdong is, in a sense, a victim of its own success, and now many factory owners are eyeing cheaper locations in Southeast Asia.

But the global economic slowdown was also having an impact, with low market demand cited as the second-biggest problem, Park said.

Read the full article here: Washington Post

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