Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour
Telephone: (852) 2392 5464 Fax: (852) 2392 5463
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sacom.hk
MailingAddress: P.O.Box No. 79583, Mongkok Post Office, HONG KONG
18 May 2011
“Planking” protest outside Foxconn shareholdersmeeting
The shares of Foxconn International Holdings (2038.HK)slumped and the company was recently removed from the constituents of the Hang Seng Index. On 18May, Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) and a dozenlabour activists staged a protest outside the shareholders meeting of the FIH. Activists,dressed in workers’ uniforms, performed “planking” (lying on the floor withface down) as a behavioural art to denounce the dire working conditions atFoxconn.
In 2010, 18workers committed suicide at Foxconn in China. The predicaments of workers,including the denial of dignity under harsh management, low wages and excessiveovertime, were exposed to the public. Meanwhile, Foxconn promised to improve theworking conditions and relocate the production facilities to the inner parts ofChina.
In spring, SACOMconducted investigations at Foxconn plants in Shenzhen, Chengduand Chongqingand found that the exploitation remained. Foxconn is still adopting inhumanemanagement and labour rights violations are rampant. In Chengdu, Foxconn workers always have monthlyovertime work from 80 to 100 hours, which is 2-3 times of the legal limit. Sometimes,they have to skip meals if they cannot accomplish the production targets. Theyhave to stand for over 10 hours on shop floor and cannot talk to each other.They are exposed to chemicals and aluminium dust but do not have adequateprotection. It is appalling that almost all the new workers have to undergo“military training”.
SACOM alsocondemned Apple, one of the big clients of Foxconn, which paints a rosy pictureof Foxconn. In reality, Apple did not launch corrective action plans atFoxconn, making the rights violations sustainable. Protestors dressed in“dust-free uniform” and performed “planking” as behavioural arts to symbolizeworkers rights are trampled. Foxconn is indifferent to workers regardless the badworking conditions. A representative of Foxconn received a petition letter fromSACOM but refused to give any response.
SACOM pointed out thatthe sweatshop-like production model should be abandoned, and demanded Foxconnto reform the management methodology and to provide a living wage to workers.The organization also advocated that the trade union at Foxconn should havebeen elected through democratic election in accordance with the Trade Union Lawin China.
CHAN Sze Wan, Debby
Tel: +852 2392 5464 or +852 6756 8964
CHENG Yi Yi
Tel: +852 2392 5464 or + 852 6012 0312
562 views,·May 18th, 2011
CAW’s Statement on IWD 100
Statement of Committee for Asian Women on 100 Years International Women’s Day 8 March 2011
Committee for Asian Women commemorates 100 years of International Women’s Day (IWD) together with more than a thousand women and men representing the women workers movements from among manufacturing, home-based, agriculture, plantation, domestic, entertainment, migrant, fisherfolk, peasants and our support organisations, to celebrate 100 years of women’s struggles for equality and sustainable livelihood. In events and rallies organised in Thailand, Sri Lanka and India and by CAW network groups in countries in Asia, we link our efforts and forge our solidarity, to build a common vision in attaining quality of life for all women workers.
IWD was born in a time of great social instability and huge struggles by ordinary people for a better life. In 1909, a demonstration of 30,000 garment workers in the United States, mainly migrant women, won most of the workers’ demands for the right to organise and bargain collectively, and improved wages and working conditions. The next year, in 1910, women from 17 countries convened at the second International Conference of Socialist Working Women in Copenhagen. An International Working Women’s Day was organised to mark the garment workers’ victory and provide a focus for the growing international campaign for women’s right to vote.
While the last 100 years of successful struggles — for women’s right to political participation, education and earn a wage, for example — has given women around the world much to celebrate, the demands of the first IWD protests have yet to be met especially for the many in the global south. Besides, under the neo-liberal policies imposed by capitalist governments around the world, sustainable livelihood and basic human rights are becoming further out of reach for most women. In Asia, grassroots women workers in particular are being hardest hit by government and corporate attacks on people’s rights to decent wages and working conditions; to welfare support that provides for a reasonable quality of life, not merely survival; to affordable housing; and to free, quality education and health care.
In a world racked by financial crises, inequality, war and environmental disasters, the only viable future for women — and all of humanity — is to go all-out now to create a world based on real democracy, social justice and peace.
Therefore, on the 100th International Women’s Day, we demanded:
- Job creation and sustainable livelihoods in urban and rural economies that provide long term employment for working women and men. Production is not profit driven but meets human needs;
- Protection of the right to decent work, decent wage, self-organisation, democratic decision-making, social welfare and workers’ empowerment
- Recognition of workers in service, informal and agricultural sectors as workers
- Implementation of the 8-hour work day and reasonable social security for workers from all sectors
- Increased accessibility for women workers to good quality education, child care service, and healthcare
- Retirement security of all workers
- Protection of the rights of pregnancy and maternity at work and increased women’s access to good quality reproductive healthcare
- Elimination of social, sexual and economic exploitation of all women workers
The long and honorable history of women and women workers’ struggles not only for equality with men, but to be able to realise their full potential as human beings, has shown that all issues are women’s issues. Every achievement in people’s struggles against poverty, or any form of discrimination, exploitation and injustice is a step forward for women’s rights. It is a time for unity and collaboration of all people in the labour movements, trade unions, civil society and women’s movements to write a new chapter in our lives and to build a just and humane world for both women and men.
Committee for Asian Women
8 March 2011
567 views,·March 10th, 2011
CAW’s Media Release for IWD100
2011 signifies 100 years of the struggle of women for respect, equality and recognition. International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated on March 8, owes its commemoration to the women working in the clothing and textile factories (‘garment workers’) in the United States who in 1857 staged protests to demand better working conditions and to form a union. The slogan “Bread and Roses” was adopted to symbolise economic security and a better quality of life for all women. March 8, 1911 saw the first rallies for women’s rights in Europe reaching a million women and men demanding the right to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.
We have this significant day to celebrate because those women walked out of their factories to fight for better working conditions and an end to violence and war. A hundred years on women continued to dominate the labour market especially in Asia, yet this has not translated into more empowerment for women at work or at home. Asian women continue to be victimised by violence, discrimination and oppression despite advances that were achieved in terms of organising and mobilising women to struggle for their rights. Women’s movements have been successful in advancing some protection in the workplace, measures to minimise violence at home, political representation and economic progress. These gains must be harnessed towards the next century of women’s rights at home and at work.
The Committee for Asian Women (CAW) is a network of 46 women workers groups and networks from 14 Asian countries that aims to promote women workers’ human and labour rights. In December 2009, a gathering of more than two hundred women workers from various sectors organised by CAW, launched the annual celebration of 100 years of International Women’s Day on Human Rights Day, 10th December. The launch was geared towards the consolidation of the strength of women’s movements in the last century and honors the achievements on women’s rights to equality and freedom. As a regional body, CAW facilitates exchanges among women workers groups and provides a platform for advocacy and solidarity linkages at the international level.
To celebrate 100 years of their courage and solidarity, CAW together with the national steering committee in Thailand will hold a regional IWD100 celebration and share perspectives of women workers in Asia on current challenges towards the next 100 years of women workers’ movement. The following is the brief information of the celebration:
Date: 6 – 8 March 2011 (three days)
Venue: Thammasart University, Thaprachan Campus
Activities: Plenary discussions, group workshops, Seminars, live music bands, drama, delivering poets, video, and a trade fair of crafts and goods made by women
Participants: Women workers and their supporters; opens to all women wishing to participate
Highlights: Art Exhibition at Chaofah Art Hall
Address by The Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on 6th March 2011
IWD100 rally from Thammasart University to Democracy Monument on March 8
Phornphan Srikhatthanaprom 086-5522247 (Mobile)
Phoebe So 087-3403894 (Mobile)
586 views,·March 2nd, 2011