Retrenched Oil Workers in Sichuan Get Organised For Legal Action

The three-month mass workers' protests in Daqing, which started last March, saw its repercussion in the struggle of fellow oil workers in Sichuan.

By mid-August, retrenched oil workers at Chongqing-based Chuandong Oil Exploration & Drilling Company (COEDC) - a subsidiary of Sichuan Petroleum Administrative Bureau - organised themselves in defense of their rights to pensions and employment. "The workers here wouldn't have had the idea and the courage to organise ourselves if not for the actions taken by Daqing workers in March", one of the retrenched workers acknowledged.

Like the Daqing workers, COEDC oil workers were cheated into signing the retrenchment agreement introduced in November 1999. Instead of submitting to the company's threat, COEDC retrenched workers decided to take up collective action in demand of unemployment allowance, adjusting the premium for their pensions and job placement or reinstatement for retrenched young workers. Failing to reach any agreement, about 800 workers started to stage sit-in protests outside the COEDC building on September 2.

The protesting workers were planning to take legal action against Sichuan Petroleum Administrative Bureau (Sichuan PAB) and its subsidiaries. The organisers also started to raise funds for the litigation.

China Labour Bulletin has talked with several retrenched workers as well as the Sichuan PAB and some of its subsidiaries. For details, please refer to CLB's press release on this upcoming legal struggle.


China Labour Bulletin

September 17, 2002

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