CLB Press Release on Arrested Labour Activists in Liaoyang (2002-04-16)

16 April, 2002

China Labour Bulletin Press Release

Another Liaoyang Labour Leader Arrested

On 16 April, 2002, the government arrested one more leader of the mass workers' protest in Liaoyang, Gu Baoshu. Gu (37), is one of the representatives of the Liaoyang Ferro-alloy Factory workers who staged mass street protests against retrenchment in mid-March. Gu's arrest took place a day after he and several other representatives went to the city government complaints office to seek the release of four leaders who had been arrested earlier. In order to avoid further arrests, the workers decided against further street protests, but instead sent several representatives, including Gu, to negotiate with the government. Nevertheless, the workers' caution and attempt to enter into negotiations failed to prevent Gu's arrest.

Gu escaped earlier detention on 20 March when he went inside the city's government office to demand release of the workers' leader, Yao Fuxin, who was the first of the organizers to be detained. Gu was held in custody in an office but was freed from the premises by over 100 fellow workers. On the same day, when the protesting workers went home from their demonstration, the riot police broke through the protesters' picket line and took away three leaders, Xiao Yunliang, Pang Qingxiang and Wang Zhaoming.

Five representatives of the Liaoyang Ferro-alloy Factory's workers' protest have been arrested so far. They are: Yao Fuxin, male (54); Xiao Yunliang, male (57); Pang Qingxiang, male (58); Wang Zhaoming, male (37); and Gu Baoshu, male (37).

On 27 March, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) filed a complaint with the International Labour Organization's Committee on Freedom of Association over the arrest of Yao Fuxin, Xiao Yunliang, Pang Qingxiang, and Wang Zhaoming. Gu Baoshu's arrest will be added to the testimony of the complaint.

China Labour Bulletin (CLB) expresses its dismay at the continued detention of workers' representatives by the Liaoyang city government, despite objections by workers in the city and the international community. The arrests will not scare off the deeply impoverished workers in Liaoyang; but will instead turn the widespread grievances among workers into frustrated anger, further exacerbating the conflict.

CLB reiterates its demand on the Liaoyang city government to:

  • Immediately release all the detained workers' representatives;

  • Enter into dialogue with the workers over their grievances against wage arrears and corruption.

The local governments of Liaoyang city and Liaoning province are, at the cost of inflaming social confrontation, trying to cover up their malpractices and corruption by heightening the conflict between the workers and the government.

CLB also demand that the central government step in and stop the officials in Liaoyang city and Liaoning province aggravating the already tense situation in the pursuit of their own vested interests.

China Labour Bulletin

16 April, 2002

Archived Status: 
Back to Top

This website uses cookies that collect information about your computer. Please see CLB's privacy policy to understand exactly what data is collected from our website visitors and newsletter subscribers, how it is used and how to contact us if you have any concerns over the use of your data.