6,000 Liaoning Miners, Guizhou Pensioners Protest

China Labour Bulletin has received reports that, during the second half of March, over 6,000 miners staged protests against the terms of their retirement and retrenchment in two cities of the north eastern province of Liaoning.

Workers of Fushun Mining Bureau have been blockading the city's railway lines to protest against the terms of retrenchment and retirement offered to them as a result of the Bureau's restructuring. According to an official of the Bureau, the workers decided to adopt different ways to organize their protests, after learning the news of the arrest of many leaders of workers' mass protests in Daqing and Liaoyang. In an attempt to avoid putting any organizer in danger, the Fushun miners put up fly posters in the streets and buildings of the workers' quarters to publicize the time and venue of the upcoming demonstrations, calling upon workers to gather at designated points on the railway line. Workers turned up but refrained from shouting slogans or holding up banners. When the authorities learned about the impending protest, the city's officials were mobilized to talk to workers of the Bureau and dissuade them from taking part in the demonstration. Large numbers of para-military police were deployed to push the protesters off the railway lines. The workers refrained from confronting the police. They stood by the railway and left after a while.

Since mid-March, over 3,000 workers of Fushun Mining Bureau have staged such protest blockades on the railway line once or twice a week.

In another news, over 3,000 retired miners in another city of the province, Fuxin, also staged protesting blockade of the city's railway in late March. The workers were among the Fuxin Mining Bureau's 20,000 retirees who felt disgruntled about the terms of their retirement. The protest lasted one morning and ended after para-military police were deployed to disperse the protestors. No injury nor arrest was reported.

In yet another case of retirees' demonstrations, on 8 April, 2002, about 300 retired workers of Guiyang Rare Steel Company, in the south western province of Guizhou, staged a 3-hour demonstration by blockading the motorways in front of their factory. The protesters, mostly aged between 60 and 70, demanded that their pensions be transferred from their troubled enterprise to the public social security network. The pensioners receive a measly monthly payment of RMB 100 (below the minimum wage standard) and have been living in poverty.

Source: China Labour Bulletin


Online: 2002-04-10

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