While the working class backlash in China remains the headline, other Southeast Asia states are finding the going equally rough.
Take, for example, Bangladesh. Though not the manufacturing haven of its neighbors, Bangladesh does have a large textiles industry, which of course was the precursor to electronics in Taiwan, China, India and elsewhere on the continent. According to the APF
At least 5,000 workers blocked highways, looted shops in Dhaka, and attacked factories on Friday, police said. Another 5,000 protested in a neighborhood known for housing several embassies and foreign aid groups.
It’s difficult to put into context the difference $25 a month — roughly the amount the workers are fighting for — would make to people in many parts of the world. Is this a sign of a spreading reallocation of wealth by the masses — a staple of macroeconomics since time immemorial (and a potential bright spot for higher wage nations) — or a brief uprising, to be followed by a long period of relative calm?
Nice article, Mike. Another very optimistic take on all this was expressed in the Economist: China labor unrest is good for the world because it is good for Chinese consumer market. Let’s pay more for our products so Chinese people can buy more of ours. Seems a bit pie in the sky considering how closed the Chinese market is…