The Widening Revolt

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?

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow

One thought on “The Widening Revolt

  1. 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…

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