Impact of the Kunshan disaster felt long after the explosion

The massive explosion that killed 75 workers at an automotive components plant in Kunshan on 2 August was China’s worst industrial accident this year. It highlighted once again the failure of employers, government officials and the trade union to protect workers and ensure they do not risk their lives just by going to work.

CLB’s extensive coverage of the disaster examines renewed calls for a radical overhaul of China’s workplace health and safety regime that would give workers the protection they need. We look at the grim prospects for many of the survivors of the blast and travel to a remote village in Henan, some 900 kilometres from the Zhongrong Metal Products factory, which was also devastated by the explosion. Finally, we take a detailed look at pneumoconiosis - the long-term hazard faced every day by employees at Zhongrong and which is, by far, the most prevalent occupational disease in China.


Activists demand that workers be given the right to supervise workplace safety

A group of labour activists and academics has issued an open letter arguing that workers should be given the right to supervise and enforce workplace safety. Nearly 2,000 supporters have so far signed the letter (translated here by CLB) Continue reading... (Photo: CFP)


Survivors of the Kunshan disaster face grim future

The average monthly wage for China’s rural migrant workers in 2013 stood at 2,609 yuan, an increase of 13.9 percent over the previous year. However, living expenses increased at a much faster rate, effectively cancelling out any gains made. Continue reading...


The tragedy of the village that built Kunshan Zhongrong

The official death toll of 75 workers at Zhongrong hides the unimaginable suffering of those who survived. CLB talks to a nurse treating some of the burn victims who explains why they have only a limited chance of survival and why the hospital is determined to keep them alive. Continue reading...


Survey details the hard road travelled by China’s victims of pneumoconiosis

The dust-filled workshops of Zhongrong are replicated across China, leading to millions of cases of pneumoconiosis. A new survey by the charity Love Save Pneumoconiosis shows how the process of seeking compensation for migrant workers with pneumoconiosis is expensive, time consuming and brings little reward. Continue reading...

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