CLB calls for the immediate release of all Jasic workers and supporters

中文摘要见下

Sunday 4 November will mark the 100th day since the mass arrest of Jasic Technology workers and their supporters in Shenzhen on 27 July. China Labour Bulletin calls on the Shenzhen authorities to immediately release all those still in detention as well as those detained subsequently for nothing more than demanding for workers' legal right to establish a trade union.

Of the 30 people arrested on 27 July, four were formally charged on 3 September with “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order” (聚众扰乱社会秩序). They have not been allowed to see their lawyer since 1 October, and one of the lawyers has now been pressured by the local authorities to resign from the case.

Three of the detained, Yu Juncong, Mi Jiuping and Liu Penghua are worker activists who sought to set up a trade union at the Jasic factory, while Li Zhan is a former Jasic worker who supported the activists’ cause.

Dozens of other civil society and student activists who supported the workers’ struggle were detained in August and it is understood that 11 of them are still either in police custody or under some form of house arrest. Several students at the prestigious Renmin University in Beijing were also punished by their school for voicing their support of the Jasic workers, a move which led to Cornell University in the United States suspending ties with Renmin in late October.

Jasic workers and supporters prior to the 27 July crackdown

The continued detention of the Jasic workers and their supporters stands in stark contrast to the just concluded 17th National Trade Union Congress in Beijing, a self-congratulatory and ceremonial affair that focused mainly on doing the bidding of the Communist Party while turning a blind eye to worker activism.

It is clear that if the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) is to become a genuinely representative body that can defend the rights and interests of ordinary workers, it can no longer ignore the voices of worker activists like Yu Juncong, Mi Jiuping and Liu Penghua.

These workers were willing to stand-up to the widespread and long-standing management abuses at Jasic Technology, including the under-payment of social insurance contributions, and understood that the most effective way to defend the interests of their co-workers was by unionizing. The workers were so effective in their organizing that they managed to gather 89 signatures (about ten percent of the entire workforce) in just two days for an application to set up a factory union.

The application was submitted to the Pingshan district trade union in early June but rather than choosing to embrace this impressive worker initiative, the local trade union officials reportedly colluded with Jasic management to set up a factory union instead. By the time the union was formally established in late August, the worker activists had been dismissed, beaten by thugs, and arrested by police.

The issues faced by workers at Jasic, shared by millions of other factory workers around China, could have easily been resolved if the local trade union had supported the lawful demands of the worker activists, and helped to set up a democratically-elected and democratically-run union at the enterprise which could then engage in collective bargaining with management over pay and working conditions at the plant.

Instead, the actions of management, the trade union and the police caused the dispute to escalate into a conflict that made headline news around the world. The Jasic dispute threw into sharp relief China’s widespread labour unrest and the failure of the ACFTU to represent workers’ interests or defend their fundamental legal rights.

If you have not already done so, please add your name to the Action Network petition Global Call on China to Release Arrested Workers, Activists and Students in Jasic Struggle.

Shenzhen Jasic Technology Co Ltd is a privately-owned Chinese manufacturer of industrial welding equipment. It was established in 2005 and was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2014. It has three manufacturing bases in China and employs around 1,000 workers at its Shenzhen headquarters.

 

中国劳工通讯呼吁:立即释放所有被捕的佳士工人及其声援者

本周日(11月4日)就是佳士工人及声援者被抓捕的一百天了。中国劳工通讯呼吁深圳当局立即释放所有在押人士,以及所有因支持工人合法组建工会而被拘捕之人。

自7月27日大抓捕以来,有30人被拘留,其中四人于9月3日被正式以“聚众扰乱社会秩序”罪名起诉。据了解,被捕工人自10月1日以来一直未能获准会见律师,而律师中有一人更是被地方政府施压,要其从佳士案中退出。

四名被起诉人士当中,余浚聪、米久平、刘鹏华,三人皆为佳士工人,他们很积极地希望能在佳士工厂建立工会。李展则是佳士工厂的前员工,他一直支持佳士工人的诉求。

此外,公民社会人士和活跃学生也组成声援团,以实际行动来表示对佳士工人的支持。八月底,他们大量被拘留。据了解,到现在,至少还有11名人士处于警方的监控中,或者是被软禁在家(例如,沈梦雨、岳昕、顾佳悦等人)。在高等学府——中国人民大学就读的几名学生,就因为支持工人权益和声援佳士工人,遭到了人大校方的惩罚。事件扩散后,美国康奈尔大学认为人大校方的行为是对学术自由的严重侵害,因此在10月底公开声明,中断与人民大学的交流合作项目。

没有什么比佳士工人被捕更能展示中华全国总工会工作的失败。刚刚于北京闭幕的中国工会十七大又一次鼓吹自己完成了多少丰功伟绩。实际上,它们的工会工作却是完成指标任务为主,对来自工人的诉求置之不顾。假如中华全国总工会及其下属地方工会能够真的做到工会改革的要求,它们不可能忽视像余浚聪、米久平、刘鹏华这样一心想组建工会的工人心声。真正的工会,是应该代表工人的利益,维护工人的合法权利,提高普通工人的福祉。

佳士案这些被捕工人们,面对长期以来管理层对工人的种种苛刻,面对厂方不交社会保险费,他们勇敢地站出来说不。他们以为,最有效的解决办法就是建立工会,以此来维护工人同胞的权益。这些工人的行动力惊人,仅在两天之内,他们就说服了89个工人(占工人总数的1/10)来签名支持筹建工会的行为。

六月初,佳士工人们就曾向深圳坪山区总工会申请建立工会。然而,坪山区总工会不但没有被工人积极建会的主动性所打动,反而(据说)和佳士工厂的管理层合谋,抛开工人开始了新的工会组建工作。到八月底的时候,佳士工厂终于有一个“依法依规”正式建立的工会了。然而,这个工会是管理层建立的工会,会员也不包括被捕的工人们——积极工人们早前已经全部被开除,被殴打,以至于最后被逮捕。

佳士建会工人的遭遇不是偶然的,还有成千上万的中国工人都有类似的经历。面对一心建会、想要寻求工会支持的工人们,地方总工会当时如果能够改变同老板合作的工作作风,转而支持工人的合法权利,并且帮助在企业里成立一个代表工人、对工人负责的工会,那么佳士案就不会发酵,而这样成立的工会也才能够在谈判桌上就工人的工资待遇、工作条件与老板协商,才能够真正解决企业内的劳资纠纷。

可惜的是,管理层、地方总工会、当地警察的做法令佳士案升级再升级,以至于被世界著名的新闻机构竞相报导。就此,佳士案又一次令世人看到了中国长期持续的劳资冲突,又一次令人目睹了中华全国总工会的失败——工会既未能代表广大工人的利益,也未能在工人权益受损时挺身而出。

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