500 Workers Protest in Fujian, Drive Away Riot Police

It’s been a week since this group of workers in China’s Fujian province went on strike. They work for Fujian Nandian Co., which makes hydroelectric power equipment. They say the company didn’t give them proper compensation when it transitioned from a state-owned enterprise to a privately owned enterprise at the end of 2011.

“For companies that change from a state-owned enterprise to a privately owned enterprise, our worker identity shifts. [They have to] buy out [the workers], but [the new owner] said he doesn’t have the money, so [he’s] not willing to buy us out.”

That’s why the workers’ strike continues.

Starting on March 27th, Nandian employees began gathering to defend their rights. On the 29th, more than 500 employees walked in the rain while holding up banners saying “punish the corrupt officials, give workers back their hard-earned money.” Even retired employees from other cities like Xiamen and Fuzhou went to help.

On the 29th, local authorities sent riot police to stop the protest.

“Armed police came out to block them off. There were a lot of employees; they are very united. Some employees said, ‘I’m not here to fight with you. We are here to defend our rights.’ About five or six hundred people went over and surrounded them. The riot police saw this, got scared, and left.”

The local mayor finally sent out a work team to the factory, but employees’ requests have not yet been resolved.

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