DeCoro Workers Walkout to Protest Beating

12:51 Apr 8 2008 DeCoro Factory Shenzhen China

From South China Morning Post via the Institute for GLobal Labor and Human Rights:

Mass walkout after three are assaulted by Italian supervisors during pay row.

More than 3,000 Shenzhen workers employed by sofa maker DeCoro took to the streets yesterday morning after three colleagues were badly beaten by their Italian supervisors during a pay dispute.

The angry workers marched from the factory in Pingshan to a highway to protest. They shouted 'Stop violence, restore justice and protect our human rights' and were dispersed by riot police armed with shields and clubs about 11am.

Three workers employed by DeCoro Industrial - one of the world's largest sofa makers - were beaten by their Italian supervisors on October 31 during an argument over wages, workers said. The three were still being treated in hospital last night.

One worker, Liang Tian, said the company had tried to force them to accept a 20 per cent pay cut. When they refused, the management sacked about 10 of their leaders without compensation.

Mr Liang said he and two other colleagues had tried to reason with the Italians, but the supervisors lost patience and punched them.

'I was the first to be beaten. He pulled me up and punched me hard in my stomach. I was knocked out for a few seconds. He stamped on my face while I was lying on the ground. It was really humiliating,' Mr Liang said last night.

Another worker, Li Fangwei, said it was not the first time they had been beaten. 'They regularly beat Chinese workers. They are like wolves. They are racists and treat us like slaves,' he said. Hundreds of workers rushed to their colleagues' aid after hearing the news of their beating. The angry crowd demanded an apology from management and for the Italian supervisors to be punished.

DeCoro president Luca Ricci wrote a letter of apology to the three workers yesterday and called for a return to work. But many workers remained angry. They said the company was making good profits, but still wanted to cut their pay. About 80 workers who refused to accept the pay cut were dismissed in September. They are now pursuing legal action. DeCoro management could not be reached for comment last night.

The workers said they planned to hold another protest today. 'We reported the case to police when they first beat us. But the police did nothing,' one said. 'We don't trust the authorities anymore. We will protect ourselves.'

DeCoro, fully owned by an Italian company, was established in Shenzhen in 1997 with registered capital o f US$2.5 million. Its total revenue this year has been estimated at US$240 million. About 75 per cent of its products are sold in the US.
Credibility: UP DOWN 0

Additional Reports

Hunan Construction Workers Protest Over Black Lung in Shenzhen

13:41 Jul 30, 2009

shenzhen municipal government building shenzhen china, 0 Kms

DeCoro Furniture Workers Strike in Shenzhen

13:14 Jan 08, 2009

shenzhen guangdong china, 0 Kms

Xinghui Workers Strike in Shenzhen

12:10 Jan 05, 2008

深圳幸辉实业公司深圳China, 0 Kms

Teachers at 22 Kindergartens in Shenzhen Strike

08:00 Mar 04, 2008

Shenzhen China, 0 Kms

Shenzhen Bus Drivers Strike

13:40 Aug 27, 2008

Shenzhen China, 0 Kms