New Year starts with a bang in China’s factory to the world

24 March 2015

Listening to the Guangdong Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, you might be forgiven for thinking that everything is just fine in China’s factory to the world. The bureau announced last week that nearly 95 percent of Guangdong’s roughly ten million migrant workers had returned after the Spring Festival break, and that employee numbers had reached or already exceeded pre-holiday levels in 80 percent of the province’s enterprises.

What the bureau failed to mention however was that several major strikes had broken out since the holiday including one at the vast Yue Yuen shoe factory, which continued as the bureau’s press conference rambled on. As we show in this newsletter, workers are still angry about wage arrears, low wages and social security, and now, new regulations that restrict access to housing funds.

Also in this newsletter: Why Cambodia’s factories now resemble those in Dongguan a decade ago, and how civil society is responding to the growth of the workers’ movement in Guangdong.

Housing fund reform angers workers in China’s factory to the world

The municipal government in Dongguan, China’s “factory to the world,” is making it more difficult for workers, already squeezed by the economic slowdown, to get their hands on their housing fund contributions. Continue reading...

From Dongguan to Phnom Penh, its déjà vu all over again

In 2004, CLB investigated the pay and working conditions of migrant women workers in Dongguan. In 2014, Human Rights Watch investigated the pay and working conditions of the predominately women workers in Cambodia’s garment industry: The results were predictably similar. Photo HRW. Continue reading...

China’s labour groups need to be in line with the needs and demands of workers

The veteran labour lawyer and advocate for collective bargaining Duan Yi has called on China’s labour groups to work together to better serve the interests of China’s workers. Continue reading...

Students use crowd funding website to support worker activist in Guangzhou

When a 22-year-old medical student from Guangzhou, Chen Weixiang, heard about the dismissal of local sanitation worker and labour activist Yu Wucang, he decided to help. Continue reading...

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