Translated by China Labour Net
This morning, workers from the Laosan plant (plant no. 3), who were the last batch of workers to hold the line, finally resumed work after the combined and heavy pressure from the government and the management. The ten days wei-quan (defend one’s rights) action by Yue Yuen workers has drawn to a close, at least temporarily. At noon, heavy rain fell from the sky, as if the heaven also cried for us in sadness.
At 9 am, a friend at the Laosan plant texted me saying that they are now resuming work and along with this there was also a long list of crying and hugging emojis. Today, each and every Yue Yuen worker felt humiliated in his or her heart. In 21st century socialist China, at the frontline of the Reform and Open policy, ie, Dongguan, Guangdong province, there are now scenarios where the police and their dogs are mobilized and violent assaults are used to force workers back to work. This is the shame of Dongguan, and more importantly, the shame of history!
Yes we failed. Under the violence of batons and police dogs we had to resume work. Yet, deep in our hearts, we feel proud as we participated in this great wei-quan struggle. This action is going to be seen as a mile stone in the history of Chinese workers’ wei-quan. It symbolizes that the Chinese labour movement has now advanced from merely demanding wage raises to demanding more social security (although this is what the laws stipulate in the first place). This is a great advancement! In future when one looks back at the history of Chinese labour movement one will see a great monument, with the words “Yue Yuen” inscribed on it.
During the Yue Yuen workers’ wei-quan struggle, the solidarity actions launched by Jiangxi Yue Yuen workers and from all social quarters, plus solidarity actions initiated by Hong Kong/Taiwan/overseas labour groups, have given us the greatest courage and support. This allows us to know that we are not isolated, that your hearts have always been with us. Thank you!
This wei-quan event is now over. But is it? No! This is but a rehearsal, a beginning of an even more glorious Yue Yuen labour movement in future. After the baptism of this struggle, in the future the Yue Yuen workers will only be more organized, more courageous in fighting for their interests!
Tonight we are all Yue Yuen workers. Hold on Yue Yuen workers, don’t cry!
A Yue Yuen worker