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Manager killed during protest over steel plant privatization

Workers at a state-owned iron and steel plant in Jilin attacked and killed a senior manager during a protest at the proposed privatization of the factory on 24 July. Thousands of workers at the Tonghua Iron and Steel factory staged a demonstration on Friday morning after news spread that the Jianlong Group, China’s largest privately owned steel company, would buy a majority stake. Jianlong had taken a minority stake in Tonghua in 2005, laying off several thousand workers in the process, but only sought to increase its stake in Tonghua after the company turned a profit earlier this year.

The hidden dangers of China’s construction sites

It is well known that China’s construction sites are dangerous places; workers are all too often crushed by falling building materials and scaffolding, maimed by faulty machinery or fall to their deaths from heights. Indeed, just last month, eight workers died after a load collapsed at a construction site in Jiangsu. But on a recent trip to Beijing, I was alerted to a new danger, one that I had not even considered before – underground water.

Report: corrupt officials in coal country intimidate petitioner’s family members

China National Radio has recently published an article, translated by Joel Martinsen at Danwei, that exposes another tactic that corrupt county officials will use to stifle dissent threatening their interests in coal mining operations: going after the employment status of petitioners’ family members.

In Walmart case, US court’s ruling show limitations of codes of conduct

The San Fransico Chronicle reports that: “Workers in foreign factories that supply Wal-Mart can't blame the company for their alleged sweatshop conditions, despite the retail giant's code of conduct that's supposed to hold its contractors to decent labor standards, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

Hindustan Times: How toy factory sparked a riot

China Labour Bulletin appears in the following article. Copyright remains with the original publisher.

10 July 2009

China’s worst riot in recent history that killed 156 this week in northwest Xinjiang, was sparked by a brawl between disgruntled workers in a toy factory many miles away in the southern export zone.


Dongguan cracks down on labour rights advocates

The authorities in China’s manufacturing heartland, Dongguan, are attempting to limit and control the activities of citizen agents (公民代理人), self-trained labour rights advocates who help workers who cannot afford professional legal services file labour dispute cases at arbitration hearings and courts.

Going it alone: a report on the state of the workers' movement in China

CLB looks at how the workers’ movement in China has developed over the last two years, how the government has responded to it, and why the official trade union has been unable to play a positive role in it. Photo by Saad Akhtar

In handling of taxi strikes, Xining and Chongqing provide stark contrasts

Disturbing news of how a taxi strike was handled in Xining - involving the arrest of eleven people, which brought out the proliferation of outdated rhetoric reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution - falls into sharp contrast with the way many taxi strikes were dealt with in more progressive ways at the end of last year.

Twenty year jail sentence for Chongqing crime boss accused of instigating strike in his own taxi company

Have Chongqing’s prosecutors been watching too many episodes of The Sopranos? I ask merely because the latest installment in the Chongqing crime boss trials that have gripped the nation over the last few weeks has all the hallmarks of HBO’s award-winning drama series - corrupt politicians, crooked businessmen and vicious gangsters conspiring to organize strikes and monopolize the market.

Nationalization is not a short cut to coal mine safety

CLB director Han Dongfang argues that moves by the authorities in Shanxi to close and merge small privately-run mines with larger state-run mines will only improve coal mine safety if miners are allowed to play a key role in safety management. Photograph by andi808.
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