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China’s factory workers fight to protect basic labour rights

05 April 2016
Thousands of workers strike over relocation and unpaid benefits at Taiwanese factory
Workers at Japanese-owned plant in Shanghai demand enforcement of labour law

Hundreds of workers at the Shanghai plant of Japanese precision engineering company Namiki went out on strike on 29 March demanding an end to their status as agency workers and to sign formal contracts with the company, as stipulated in China’s revised Labour Contract Law, which went into effect in 2013.

The strike was triggered when several workers were forced to sign new contracts, relegating them to part-time worker status. Workers also pointed out that the company had exceeded the two year deadline (set by new regulations in March 2014) for reducing the number of agency workers in any one enterprise to less than ten percent of the total workforce.

On the second day of the strike, several dozen police faced off against the workers and some strikers were arrested. The company then issued a statement threatening to dismiss striking workers and saying those who disagreed with its hiring practices should pursue their disputes through legal channels.

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