Chinese Auto-Glass Magnate Faces Union Challenge in Ohio

Wednesday November 8, 2017
By KEITH BRADSHER and NOAM SCHEIBER, NY TIMES

FUQING, China — Cao Dewang saw his impoverished mother nearly die of starvation more than 50 years ago, during a famine driven by Mao’s mismanaged push to industrialize China.

Today, Mr. Cao is a billionaire auto glass magnate, and he wants to give back. He has given a large chunk of his fortune toward construction of an enormous public library near his hometown and numerous Buddhist temples. He has paid for the medical care of distant relatives of employees who fall seriously ill. He entreats his fellow Chinese billionaires to give as well.

“I started from the very bottom of society, so I understand the wants and needs of those at the very bottom,” said Mr. Cao in an interview earlier this year. “We should take care of the needs of our employees as part of a family.”

Now, in a factory with roughly 2,000 workers in Moraine, Ohio, 7,600 miles away, Mr. Cao’s paternalistic attitude is facing a deep test.

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