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.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)