For two weeks, sanitation workers gathered daily on the lawns of Guangzhou’s Higher Education Mega Center—a complex of ten universities serving 200,000 students that has taken over Xiaoguwei island—in the latest of a series of Guangzhou sanitation strikes.
The strike erupted August 26 after the sudden replacement of a contractor jeopardized the jobs of 212 sanitation workers, jobs many had held for a decade.
By the time it came to an end September 9, workers had won an agreement that included severance pay of 3,000 yuan (about $489 U.S.) per year of service.
Tensions are still simmering over whether the new company will rehire all veteran workers as promised. But although the dispute isn’t settled yet, its significance is clear.
This strike, a symptom of the increasing privatization of basic urban services, sets a promising precedent for solidarity between locals and migrants, for women workers’ leadership, and for student-worker collaboration.
– See more at: http://www.labornotes.org/2014/10/women-lead-sanitation-strike-massive-education-complex-china#sthash.IC6oriqu.dpuf