Taiwan: A successful meeting for solidarity with Hualon strikers
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CWI in Taiwan
22 July was an exciting day, because Hualon textile workers came to Taipei from Miaoli, 100km away, and had a discussion with people. This discussion was held by CWI Taiwan and other groups. 43 people attended the meeting, and most of them are youth or students. It is a great success. When the discussion started at 14:00, the place was full of people who sympathized with the striking workers. The workers spoke for an hour and discussed with attendants for an hour. After the discussion, we raised 6100 NTD (around 200USD) for Hualon workers.
8 workers came to the discussion, two men and six women, including 2 union frontline stewards. It was the 47th day of their strike, and they spoke about their struggling experience in these 47 days with protests and negotiations with the bosses and government. All of the women workers mentioned that they have been oppressed and exploited by capitalists and employers for over 10 years. Most of the women workers in the factory must take another part-time job to maintain their livelihood and their children.
Most people raised questions on the Labor Standards Act and the role of government. But since the struggle and strike, workers feel despair for the law and government. One of the workers said “law is just for the rich.” Workers hope that we can keep spreading the news of the strike or go to their factory to support the occupation.
At the last of discussion, CWI Taiwan comrades read the letter of solidarity from Hanige, Stockholm city councilor, Mattias Bemhardsson, to Hualon workers. In the letters, he proposed the idea of nationalizing Hualon factory, and democratic control by workers. And ask for solidarity from workers and trade unionists all over the world. Until now, workers received international solidarity letters from UK, Israel, Venezuela, Greece, Sweden and the PCS union in Britain. Monday, RS in Sweden is planning a solidarity protest in front of the Taiwan Embassy to Stockholm.
In fact, the international solidarity campaign has pressured the Taiwan government. A few days after we launched the international solidarity campaign, Hualon union’s official received a call from the local prosecutor, who said “don’t make the noise internationally.” Of course, they were trying to frustrate the workers. But the morale of workers was only more encouraged by the threatening from the government as they found that the government was pressurised by the campaign.
However, the work we’ve done is far from enough. The prosecutor calling means that we should make more effort to mobilize workers and youth internationally to support the workers and fight back the provocation from the capitalist Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) government.
Solidarity, struggle until victory!