Thousands of workers from the Aigao Electronic Plant in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province went on strike on November 27 to protest raised food prices without consulting them. More than a thousand police arrived on the scene with dozens of dogs to repress them. Many workers were injured by the dogs and arrested.
A worker from the factory interviewed by The Epoch Times on November 28 said that workers left the plant on strike in the morning. He saw hundreds of police armed with anti-riot equipment blocking the road around the factory, and forced the workers back into the factory. Afterwards, the police went into the factory and stationed police on every floor of all the buildings. They forced the workers to resume work. During the day, the police beat some workers' heads with batons and captured a dozen strike leaders.
Mr. Huang, one of the workers, said that many police vehicles arrived that day. There were many kinds of police, including special police, armed police, anti-explosive police, and public security officers. Police also instructed the dogs to bite workers and used batons to beat workers, including female workers.
“The police seized the strike leaders, kicking and punching them and then dragged them into the police vehicles. Just during the time I was on the spot, I witnessed the police fill 7 or 8 police vehicles with workers and drive away, each car carried about a dozen workers.” He said.
Women Not Spared
“The police were like bandits. They treated workers cruelly. They even kicked girls and beat them with batons. Some girls' faces were seriously bleeding from the injuries. Some lay on the floor and were unable to move after being kicked. One girl's skull was broken and kept bleeding.” A woman, Shen, said.
Huang said that the reason for the strike was that the factory issued a notice to deduct more the food expense on November 22. Workers were not happy about it. They wanted to negotiate with the factory, but the factory did not want to meet with them.
Living Conditions Are Intolerable
“It's not only the increase in the food expense,” Huang said, “The wages are low and the treatment is bad. Sixteen people live in a small hut. Sometimes the food is terrible. They raised the food expense without consulting with workers. So the workers feel it's intolerable.”
Ms. Shen said that their wage is low. The wage is 690 yuan (approximately US$94) every month, the accommodation deduction is 59 yuan (approximately US$7) per month, and the food expense deduction is 150 plus yuan (approximately US$20) per month. So they only have 400 plus yuan (approximately US$54) left each month. “We cannot afford to buy some good clothes.” She said, “Some workers labor more than 10 hours every day to earn some more money. They stand all the time, many people faint, from fatigue.”
Mr. Huang said that officials of the Dongguan Municipal Labor Bureau went to the factory yesterday, but the leader of the factory has not given a clear explanation.
If the factory does not withdraw the decision to raise the food expense, workers will continue to strike.