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What lies behind trade union “success stories?”

In late April, some 450,000 catering workers in Wuhan welcomed the signing of a collective agreement that promised them a basic wage 30 percent higher than the municipal minimum wage (currently 900 yuan), and a wage increase this year of at least nine percent on average.

 

But soon after the Labour Day celebrations died down, experts started questioning if this agreement is really that promising, even though it does involves the largest number of workers covered in one agreement and a big increase in pay.

Mapping the key developments in China’s labour relations

In early April, CLB’s Chinese-language website launched four new interactive maps, which we hope will give our audience a clearer picture of the new and rapidly changing developments in labour relations and workers’ rights in China.

Chongqing SWAT team wins wage arrears for migrant workers: Latest publicity stunt gets the popular vote

In a scene more reminiscent of an action movie than traditional Chinese propaganda, China Smack has an interesting new post showing how the Chongqing police and government officials were heroically called in to a construction site to get back wages in arrears for migrant workers, and break up the gang that had been hired to keep them in check.

Melbourne court awards Chinese dumpling chef A$200,000 in unpaid wages

In a rare legal victory for Chinese workers abroad, a Melbourne court has ordered one of the city’s most popular dumpling restaurants to pay a chef around A$200,000 in unpaid overtime and other benefits. Chang Chang, who moved to Australia in 2004, worked at the Camy Shanghai Dumpling and Noodle Restaurant 13 hours a day, six days a week for just A$100 a day. Despite being grossly underpaid and overworked, Chang only took legal action against his boss after he obtained permanent Australian residency. Like many other Chinese migrant workers abroad, Chang feared that if he sought redress before getting residency, he might lose his job and his employment visa would be revoked.

Chongqing social security bureau fails to provide employee with social security – for 11 years

If an employer violates the law by not providing an employee with any kind of social security, the employee should go to their local labour and social security bureau and ask them to sort the problem out. Consider then the case of Gu Jianqing, who has worked for 11 years without a single social security contribution from his employer, the Jiulongpo District Labour and Social Security Bureau in Chongqing. Who does he turn to?

Building their own dreams in Shenzhen – a BYD employee talks to CLB

Chinese automotive manufacturer BYD, is probably best know outside China as one of the more lucrative investments of the world’s second richest man Warren Buffett. But what is life like for BYD’s employees; do they really have the opportunity to build their own dreams?

 

Child labour in China: History repeating itself

Three years ago, the Southern Metropolis Daily exposed a child labour trafficking ring that brought teenagers from the remote Liangshan region of Sichuan and sold them to factories across the Pearl River Delta. Three days ago, the same media group, exposed a case of 21 adolescents who had been trafficked from Liangshan and sold to an electronics factory in Shenzhen’s Longgang district. The details of how the children were trafficked and the conditions they worked under were almost identical.

Cycling to Zhuhai – and other migrant worker adventures

The mainstream media in China often portrays young migrant workers as troubled and oppressed and only focuses only on their problems. But last weekend, I had the chance to spend some time with a group of young workers from Shenzhen who displayed a side not often seen in mainstream media – youthful curiosity, imagination, and generosity of spirit.

 

“People’s delegates” out of touch with ordinary people’s lives

Every year, the delegates to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and National People’s Congress (NPC) can be guaranteed to come up with some thought-provoking and often outlandish proposals and suggestions.

 

Who is responsible when a worker dies inside the factory dormitory?

When 36-year-old Li Zhangjian died of a head injury just before the Lunar New Year holiday, his family did what many other migrant worker families do – they traveled down from their hometown in Henan to the luggage factory in Dongguan where Li was employed to demand compensation.

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