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Chinese Wage Gains Shift Economy

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"China's workers are successfully demanding higher wages and better working conditions, a shift that promises to accelerate the nation's transition to an economy more driven by the spending power of its people. On Monday, Honda Motor Co. was jolted by a strike at a Chinese company that supplies it with exhaust pipes. Less than a week earlier, the Japanese auto maker settled a strike at another supplier— which paralyzed its manufacturing operation in China for 10 days—by granting workers a 24% increase in pay and benefits. The Honda strikes are part of a series of labor disputes involving major global companies in recent weeks that have dramatized an important, nascent transformation in China's economy toward one more driven by domestic consumption."