On November 21st, more than 400 workers went on strike at the Shenzhen Top Form Underwear Co., Limited factory in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. The motivation behind the strike was rooted in worker unrest over the factory’s unfair piece-rate wage system and workers’ unachievable daily production quotas. Despite the long work hours and high pressure that workers toil under to complete their work quotas, the factory does not pay its workers overtime wages. During the peak season when the factory receives many orders, employees work approximately 300 hours per month. Regardless of these excessive work hours, workers are still only able to earn around 2,000 RMB per month ($314 USD). Workers are regularly reprimanded and verbally abused by factory management, further amplifying the pressure felt by the factory workers.
Shenzhen Top Form Underwear Co., Limited is a subsidiary of Top Form International Limited, Hong Kong (Stock Code: 00333.HK). Their major clients in the United States are Vanity Fair, Warnaco, Komar Intimates and Wacoal, which account for 64% of their total sales. Their major European clients are Etam, VDV, DBA Group and Hunkemoller, which account for 21% of their total sales. China Labor Watch urges Top Form International to take immediate action to improve its factory conditions and better protect its workers’ rights and well-being.
Li Qiang, Executive Director of China Labor Watch, has said in a statement that factory workers have become increasingly conscious of their rights as workers and ways to protect these rights. Despite this belief, many factories still employ old-fashioned coercive-style management structures instead of a more fair and human-oriented system. Li believes that there is a growing sense of social justice among factory workers; this will lead to many more strikes in Chinese factories in the future.