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Global Voices article reports on pneumoconiosis coverage in Chinese media

Pneumoconiosis, and other lung diseases, have long been one of the most deadly hazards affecting the Chinese workforce. However, in recent months the Chinese media has come to life and reported on a series of high-profile weiquan (rights defense) actions taken by pneumoconiosis sufferers in Shenzhen and elsewhere. These media reports have been succinctly summarized in an article at Global Voices by Don Weinland.

Enterprise threatens to take its business elsewhere after losing labour rights lawsuit in Shenzhen

One of Shenzhen’s largest manufacturers has threatened not to hire any new workers in the city after a court ordered it to pay 800,000 yuan in compensation for nonpayment of statutory overtime and social insurance contributions for more than one hundred workers.

AFP: China mine safety fears reignited

The huge Chinese coal mine blast that left 104 people dead has reignited concerns over the heavy human cost of the nation's voracious coal demand, with accidents still common despite a safety push.

Time Magazine honours the Chinese Worker

In a surprising but welcome move, Time Magazine has included “the Chinese worker” in its final list of nominees for Person of the Year 2009. Hopefully, the nomination will spur the international community to look more closely, not only at the contribution China’s workers have made but also at the problems they face on a day to day basis.

SCMP: 'Bloody coal basket' cleans up but miners get left behind

Hailed as an unprecedented move to shed its reputation as the country's "blood-stained coal basket", Shanxi's latest coal industry reform will see the closure of more than 1,500 small coal mines, the disappearance of more than 95 per cent of its coal enterprises, and the loss of at least 140 billion yuan (HK$159 billion) of private investment, state media confirmed yesterday.

Labour disputes continue to escalate in Beijing

The number of workers filing grievances with the Beijing municipal authorities reached 80,000 by the end of November, nearly double the number last year, according to a local trade union official.

More migrant workers ask for open-chest surgery in compensation bid

Following the lead of Zhang Haichao, who famously underwent open-chest surgery to prove he was suffering from pneumoconiosis, 13 migrant workers from Yunnan have applied to have the same operation to examine their lungs, according to the local Chinese media.

The coal industry in China

In this podcast, we take a look at some of the recent coal mining disasters (here, here, and here), and we look at how coal mining safety can be improved.

CCTV news report highlights occupational illness in China

More than a month after 2,000 workers staged a violent demonstration at a Taiwanese electronics plant in Suzhou, China’s pre-eminent television station, CCTV1, investigated the background to the dispute and confirmed workers’ claims that 47 employees had been poisoned by the toxic chemical, hexane, used in the factory to clean touch screen panels for mobile phones.

The best way to get sued in China

A few days ago Dan Harris of the China Law Blog confirmed a trend that we at CLB and others have noticed recently, namely that the non-payment of overtime is becoming the biggest single cause of labour-related lawsuits and arbitration cases in China. The problem has become particularly severe as the economy picks up again and enterprises, many of whom sacked vast numbers of workers last year, pressure their remaining employees to work long hours in order to fulfill new contracts.
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