But it would be a mistake to conclude that the Honda walkout is a one-time event. Workers throughout China have been profoundly affected by rapid urbanization and the wide income gap between individuals.
Nationwide, employees of auto suppliers are paid monthly salaries of 1,000 to 2,000 yuan ($146 to $293). Wages vary according to the factory's geographic location and the status of the owners.
Normally, suppliers in coastal China pay their workers more than those located in the inland regions.
Also, ventures with foreign investors pay much more than domestic Chinese companies. There is some justification for this discrepancy, since foreign-run plants often require better-trained workers.
But even the higher wages at foreign factories have not kept pace with the cost of living.
Most of the workers in the coastal regions have migrated from inland China. Living far away from home, these employees -- who are mostly in their early 20s -- can save hardly any money unless they work overtime.
Many young auto workers have fathers who were among the first generation of migrant workers in China. These fathers left home to work in the economically vibrant coastal China when they were young.
They didn't strike because after they saved some money, they still had a home to go to where they could work as farmers.
But now their sons don't have such an opportunity. Twenty years ago, more than 70 percent of the population in China lived in rural areas. Now the percentage has dropped to about 53 percent, according to government statistics.
Like Honda's young workers, this second generation of migrant workers often work in coastal cities, where average housing prices exceed $1,000 per square meter.
With a meager monthly income of less than $300, it is nearly impossible for them to afford housing in the cities in which they work.
Also, there is a vast income gap between them and their management. According to Chinese media, Japanese managers at the plant earn 50 times more than the workers. Wide income gaps also exist between engineers and blue-collar workers. Automotive engineers normally earn four to five times more than auto workers.