A series of major strikes at multinationals around ownership changes took place last month at plants owned by Coca Cola, Danone and Sony. While multi-city strikes at Coca Cola are ongoing, workers’ peaceful demands to negotiate at Danone and Sony were met with reluctant bosses and police intervention.
Workers are generally left in the dark in ownership changes, though their rights and interests are at stake. They are often concerned about long-standing grievances with their past employers, and the possibility of layoffs, wage cuts, and generally worsening conditions under their new bosses, and so raise the need for negotiations with their employers.
These incidents highlight the ever pressing need for companies, local governments, and in particular the ACFTU, the official trade union, to take workers’ requests to negotiate seriously, and engage in collective bargaining in good faith.