70 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
front the multinational electronic companies, workers in Hong Kong have organized trips to visit workers in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
It is true that despite bad working conditions and health hazards, very few companies have unions. The workers, too, as yet are not aware of the benefits of unionization. Companies intimidate any attempt to form unions with the threat of shifting the factory to some other place. The electronics industry has come up in Santa Clara country because union consciousness there is not as high as in the east coast of the United States. The workers are often laid off, companies keep temporary work force, and they are provided with many resources by the government to fight unionization.
The policies of Asian governments arc helpful to the needs of the employers, Moat of these governments prohibit the formation of the labour unions and ban strikes. The South Korean government has enacted laws to eliminate lengthy disputes. It steps in to ^solvc" any labour dispute with police and troops; Korean workers have no right to organize, to bargain collectively or to strike. In spite of this, workers went on a hunger strike for five days and a sit-in strike in the company's cafetaria to gain higher wages, and they won.
The stranglehold of multinationals in South-East Asia has to be broken. The workers in these parts are now organizing themselves with solidarity actions, convinced of the dire necessity of organizing the workers in these corporations on an international scale.