Friday, May 31, 2013

Companies from China and Taiwan Face Labor Problems in South Africa

South Africa's Mail and Guardian published on 30 May 2013 a lengthy article by Alice Li titled "Minimum Wage Disputes: Is It Worth the Fight in Newcastle?"  Five Chinese and Taiwanese factory owners in Newcastle, South Africa, won the right in court to pay their workers less than the minimum wage.  This led to a strike by the South African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union. 

Taiwanese and Chinese entrepreneurs began arriving in Newcastle in large numbers in the 1980s.  By 2001, these companies employed 13,000 workers; today the number has dropped to 4,000.  Since 2010, the number of Taiwanese and Chinese companies has decreased from 115 to 48.  The article offers a good case study of the labor problems faced by Chinese and Taiwanese investors in South Africa.