Pepsi workers stage co-ordinated strikes in various Chinese cities

Thousands of workers went on strike at Pepsi bottling plants in at least six different Chinese cities. The workers are protesting management’s plans for large-scale layoffs, pay cuts, and reduced welfare benefits. This is the second strike by Chinese workers against Pepsi, a huge food and beverage company. There are two important characteristics of this latest strike. The first is the high level of co-ordination between Pepsi workers at different plants that is not usually seen in other labour disputes in China. In addition, this strike is supported by the All China Federation of Trades Unions (ACFTU), which is highly unusual. These features point to an increasing level of sophistication within the workers movement in China and a possible shift within ACFTU in becoming more responsive to workers demands. This is promising given the size and importance of the Chinese working class.