China Labour E-Bulletin Issue No. 4 (2002-03-27)

27 March 2002
In this Issue:

1. Editor's Note
2. Highlight
- Daqing Oilfield Workers’ Struggle (5)
- Mass Paramilitary Deployment Quells Daqing Demonstrations


Editor's Note

CLB conducted a number of interviews with workers and officials in Daqing during the first days of the March demonstrations. These interviews offer a rare close-up view of the situation from different vantage points. The workers' accounts explain their desperation and rage. A little surprisingly, sympathetic accounts of the workers' grievances have also been given by some officials. But most alarmingly, the official union body, ACFTU, expressed little support for the calls of the workers. This begs the question, "What's the way forward for the millions of un-represented and vulnerable workers who want to breakthrough their fast deteriorating condition?"



Daqing Oilfield Workers’ Struggle (5)

How do Daqing Oilfield management treat the tens of thousands of workers they have retrenched?

"Just like catching the birds in the northeast: they put some seeds on the ground, and then raise the net. Once you get in, the net is pulled and you are trapped inside, Who cares if you can get out or not."



Mass Paramilitary Deployment Quells Daqing Demonstrations

Three weeks after tens of thousands of retrenched workers from Daqing Oilfield began staging daily street demonstrations against terms of severance, the government moved in paramilitary troops over the weekend to stop the protests. During the week beginning 18 March, several thousand workers still staged daily pickets at the headquarters of Daqing Petroleum Administration Bureau.
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