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Formerly imprisoned workers

Formerly imprisoned workers:

Those who paved the way for today's workers' leaders


New York Times: Defying Global Slump, China Has Labor Shortage

Just a year after laying off millions of factory workers, China is facing an increasingly acute labor shortage. As American workers struggle with near double-digit unemployment, unskilled factory workers here in China’s industrial heartland are being offered signing bonuses. Factory wages have risen as much as 20 percent in recent months.

A discussion about increasing wages, a nationwide "labour famine", and community teachers

In this episode, William Nee and Geoffrey Crothall discuss recent protests in Suzhou, the "labour famine", rising wages, the "ant tribe" and the difficulty in securing justice for community teachers

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The Hard Road: Seeking justice for victims of pneumoconiosis in China

CLB examines the myriad obstacles faced by migrant workers seeking compensation for occupational illness, and outlines a series of measures to improve workplace safety and that ensure workers’ rights are protected. Photo of Zhang Haichao.

County government squeezes out community teachers

Two community teachers from Jianchang county in Liaoning, both fired by the local government in 2007, talk about their attempts to seek redress and the corrupt and underhand activities of local officials.


Paradoxes in China’s job market increasingly apparent

Two recent news reports underscored paradoxes in China’s economic structure, with too few people to work in construction, manufacturing, cleaning and the restaurant sector – positions typically reserved for “migrant workers”. Meanwhile, college graduates face bleak employment prospects, even as the economy hums along at well above 8 percent GDP growth. Women graduates, in particular, are facing difficult employment prospects, and according to a high ranking official of the All-China Women’s Federation, there are five major reasons behind it:

Will the Palermo Protocol help China’s victims of forced labour?

On 26 December last year, without much fanfare, China’s National People’s Congress ratified the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, one of two anti-trafficking protocols adopted by the UN in Palermo in 2000. The protocol is primarily concerned with transnational trafficking and is broadly in line with Beijing’s high profile efforts to crack down on the trafficking of women into prostitution and the trafficking of children. However, it has a very broad definition of trafficking and could, if implemented fully, be of great help to the victims of forced labour inside China.
25/03/2010 Hard Times Expose Migrants' Worries about Children

Life for China's 130 million migrant workers has never been easy. In recent years, however, family life for the ‘liudong renkou' (floating population) was showing signs of improving until the financial crisis.

Beijing gives local governments 30 days to implement anti-HBV discrimination measures

China’s ministries of health, education and human resources on 10 February ordered local governments to implement new policies designed to eliminate discrimination against people with HBV, the virus that causes hepatitis B. They were given 30 days to ban the use of HBV blood tests in job recruitment and school entry examinations.

Community teachers in Guangdong thrown on the scrapheap

Su Huawen taught in the village primary school he helped set up in 1953 for nearly 50 years. He taught mathematics, Chinese, music and physical education. He was admired and respected by students and parents alike, so much so, villagers addressed him as “Scholar” (文公). Today, 78-year-old Su is in poor health and lives dire poverty with hardly any income or pension because the local government in Leizhou, southwesten Guangdong, has refused to pay him the 12,000 yuan he was owed after being forcibly retired in 2000. Su has been waiting ten years for his money and has not seen one cent.
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