Saturday, April 05, 2008

The struggle for decent working conditions is international. governments that pay lip service to "socialism" (their definition of that term) are just as repressive of workers in their countries as so-called capitalist regimes are. The turn to more "capitalistic" forms of exploitation in many countries still dominated by Marxist dictatorships is a mere change of form that obscures the fact that such thuggish regimes were always class societies from the very second of their birth. the following article from the Libcom site tells of one struggle in the so-called "socialist" country of Vietnam.
Nike plant remains closed following strike in Vietnam

Following a 17,000 strong strike for higher pay, the Taiwanese-owned plant has locked out workers since Wednesday after violence broke out during the return to work.

The strike began when workers walked out of the Ching Luh factory in the southern Long An province on April 1, demanding a wage increase of 22%. A return to work negotiated by trade union officials after two days saw the majority of workers return to the factory, although the terms agreed to by the union amount to an increase of only 10%.

The chairwoman of the Long An province trade union said, "We persuaded them to come back to work tomorrow, but we are not sure if they will restart working or continue the strike".

Workers returned to the plant on Wednesday, and violence soon broke out following an argument between a former worker and a security guard. Police were called in, and a number of workers are reported to have been beaten.

The negotiated 10% increase agreed between management and union officials has left many workers unsatisfied, and the plant remains closed amid fears of more violence. Groups of workers have distributed a leaflet outside the plant arguing for a continuation of the strike to achieve the full increase of 22%.

Rapidly rising inflation in Vietnam has left many unable to cope with the soaring cost of living, and prices are estimated to have increased 19% since this time last year. These conditions sparked a series of nationwide strikes in 2007, eventually forcing the government to increase the minimum wage for foreign-owned companies by 13%.

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