Cracks in the Great Wall - GE's lawyers on labour strife in China
China is widely viewed as a tightly-controlled society, which is why this spring's labour strife headlines surprised so many people. A car maker was hit with a series of strikes and an electronics manufacturer was shaken by a string of employee suicides. Chinese Government officials, who usually clamp down on labour unrest and suppress news coverage, allowed employees to criticise the companies for weeks - and state-run media to report what they said. But lawyers at General Electric (GE) already knew that China's is a challenging labour environment. Two years ago, employees at a GE plant near Shanghai went on strike and even locked their managers inside the building. The dispute received no publicity - unlike this year's strikes at Honda or the turmoil at Foxconn Technology, where nine employees committed suicide (and four tried to) during the first five months of 2010.
GE’s lawyers talk about their company’s experience with labour strife in China. David Hechler reports
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