Female strike participant jumps to death after being fired

On July 17 in Shenzhen, after being fired for participating in a strike, a 50-year-old female worker, Ms. Zhou, jumped out of the fourth floor of a factory building to her death. Ms. Zhou had worked at the Kuaihao (Grosby) Footwear Factory for 12 years but was fired on July 16, burdening her with great pressure.

Grosby is a Hong Kongese invested shoe supplier to international brand companies like Marks & Spencer and Clarks. Workers at the factory used to receive a long-term service subsidy. However, Grosby claimed in May that it was required by the government to change its name and legal representative. The company used this transition as an excuse not to distribute payments to workers, including monthly wages, subsidies, and social insurance.

Worried about their future benefits, Grosby workers, via its official company union, invited the factory’s management to carry out collective bargaining to discuss the long-term service subsidy, but the factory turned them down. As a result, around 600 workers begin a strike on May 26. After nearly two months, Grosby has still refused to communicate with the union about the subsidy and even fired some workers who participated in the strike. As of July 16, 109 workers have been fired.

(All photos below, unless otherwise noted, credit redchinacn.net.)

Notice from the factory declaring terminated workers on June 5
Letter from workers demanding collective negotiation
Grosby workers on strike
Grosby workers on strike
Body of Ms. Zhou after she jumped from the factory building to her death.
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