The need for a functioning social security system in China is now more pressing than ever

The Chinese economy grew by just 7.4 percent last year, its lowest level since 1990, and there is little sign the economy will improve in the near future. It is during times of economic hardship like this that the need for an effective and beneficial social security system becomes ever more apparent. In China, however, it is obvious that the system is not working.

In a completely updated survey and analysis of the social security system in China, published today, CLB examines the provision of pensions, unemployment and medical insurance, and the difficulties faced by rural migrant workers in particular in getting the benefits they are entitled too. We separately report on recent government attempts to reform the pension system for public sector workers.

The economic downturn has led to a corresponding rise in the number of strikes and worker protests across China. One of the hardest hit industries has been the construction sector, and workers have stepped up their protests in an increasingly desperate bid to get paid before the Chinese New Year Holiday next week.

China's social security system

Every employee in China is supposed to have a pension, medical and unemployment insurance, and a range of other welfare benefits. In reality, the system has failed to provide workers, rural migrant workers in particular, with the social security they need and are legally entitled to. (Photo: Retirees in Dongguan) Continue reading...

Wages and benefits for public sector workers said to increase after pension reform

Just five days after the Chinese government revealed ground-breaking reforms to the country's pension system, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security announced that both wages and pensions for public sector employees will go up in order to compensate them for any losses caused by the reform plan. (Photo of teachers’ protest in Huzhou from Sina Weibo) Continue reading...

Strikes and worker protests continue to surge across China in fourth quarter

Construction workers, teachers and miners joined factory workers in a wave of strikes and protests across China in the final quarter of 2014. China Labour Bulletin’s Strike Map recorded 569 incidents during the fourth quarter, more than three times the number in the same period in 2013. (Photo: H3C Technologies workers on strike) Continue reading...

People’s Daily tries and fails to understand problem of wage arrears in China

After two tragic deaths in the last two months that were directly related to the failure of employers to pay construction workers’ wages on time, the People’s Daily, mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, has demanded that employers respect the rights of their employees and respect the law. (Cartoon from CRNTT.COM) Continue reading...

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