SHANGHAI — A strike involving tens of thousands of workers at factories of one of the world’s largest sneaker producers in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan has now spilled over into manufacturing facilities located in another province.
At least 2,000 workers in Jiangxi, a province in north central China, are striking at a factory operated by the Taiwanese-owned Yue Yuen Holdings Ltd., which makes shoes for a number of global brands, including Adidas AG and Nike Inc. Lin Dong, an employee of the Shenzhen-based labor rights nongovernmental organization Spring Breeze, said the workers in Jiangxi decided to protest to “support their colleagues in Dongguan.”
It continues to appear there is no immediate end in sight to the protests, which began in early April at Yue Yuen’s Dongguan factory over employee benefits. The protests, initially small, escalated earlier last week to what some labor rights organizations estimate to be at least some 40,000 workers. Yue Yuen has not responded to repeated interview requests. RELATED STORY: No Resolution Yet in China Protests >>
Adidas said it is continuing to monitor the situation. A Nike spokesman said the company is “continuing to monitor the dialogue between factory management and the workers, as well as production at the factory [in Dongguan].”
Labor rights groups say this is one of the largest worker protests in recent Chinese history.
When reached by phone, some employees declined to speak to foreign reporters out of concern their communication was being monitored by the government. The Hong Kong-based China Labor Bulletin said there continues to be a heavy police presence in Dongguan and that some employees have been detained. Mass protests are illegal in China, while labor unions not sanctioned by the government are also forbidden.
Late on Friday, the government-backed Guangdong Provincial Federation of Trade Unions said on its micro blog account that it has sent staff to Dongguan to engage in the negotiation process between Yue Yuen and employees.
While the scale of the protests in Dongguan, and now in Jiangxi as well, is perhaps unprecedented, they are not a new phenomenon here. Increasingly, blue-collar workers have been showing a willingness to stand up for their rights — whether it be higher wages or safer workplaces. According to China Labor Bulletin, the number of worker protests in China this year is up by a third.
The Yue Yuen employees say the company has been shortchanging them by failing to make adequate payments to their social insurance accounts. According to the state-run CCTV news agency, the strike has exposed loopholes in the country’s social security scheme, as well as the growing pressure on manufacturers to keep up with rising labor costs. CCTV said in a report that Yue Yuen is offering cash rewards to try to lure employees back to work.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye