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Is the future of microblogging in China really so bright?

As our website is blocked in mainland China, CLB is now using microblogs to reach our mainland audience and let them know what CLB is doing. Since we started this initiative in November, we have received a warm response from both ordinary citizens and mainstream journalists in China. Although it’s encouraging to note that CLB’s Chinese microblog has over 3,000 followers, the outlook for this new internet sensation is actually not as promising as it seems.

 

Indian official hails China's "flexible" labour laws

India can still learn from both China’s successes and failure. One option might be to reform labour laws to encourage manufacturing, while also ensuring that independent (non-party affiliated, worker-centred) trade unions are able to organize in the private sector in order to ensure more equal economic development. This could, dare I say, help provide for a more harmonious society.

Young lives ruined by the refusal of the boss to pay wage arrears

All Liu Yongli wanted was the two months’ wages owed to her by the shoe factory in Dongguan she had been employed at for the previous eight months. But when the 21-year-old migrant worker from Sichuan demanded her back pay, the boss refused point blank. Distraught, Liu went back to her dormitory and jumped from the fifth floor. She sustained serious injuries and was taken to hospital. But once she was out of critical condition, the company refused to continue paying for her medical treatment because, management said, she had officially terminated her employment eight days earlier.

The glaring need for greater vigilance against labour trafficking in China

Once again the authorities have reacted with remarkable alacrity to an appalling case of labour rights abuse, after, and only after, it has been exposed in the Chinese media. Within days of the Xinjiang Metropolitan Daily’s report on a factory that was using the mentally disabled as slave labour, the factory owner and his son had been arrested, along with the labour trafficker who allegedly sold the workers to the factory. The workers had been rescued and placed in care, and the trafficker’s “Beggars Adoption Agency” in Sichuan’s Qu county had been closed down, the official media reported.

Once again, labour issues hot topic in domestic media

Looking at influential newspaper Southern Weekend (南方周末) – one couldn’t help but notice that three of the top ten “most popular” articles are directly linked with distortions in the labour market.

Beida Prof needs to take elementary school science class

Many people in China are talking about China’s first employment discrimination lawsuit based on the prospective employee’s AIDS status. The plaintiff, known by his pseudonym Xiao Wu, filed an anti-discrimination lawsuit in the Yingjiang District Court in Anqing on 26 August after the Anqing education department denied him a teaching position because he was HIV positive. The court formally accepted the case on Monday August 30, but the court ruled against him on 12 November. Xiao Wu, however, plans to appeal.

Seminar suggests child labour is on the rise in China

The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 215 million children around the world engaged in work. No one knows for sure how many children are working in China because the government does not publish such data, but the recent signs are worrying. Several participants at a seminar in Shenzhen last week indicated that the use of child labour was on the rise again, particularly since the implementation of the Labour Contract Law in 2008. Children were primarily employed by factories as a means of cutting costs.

A small step forward but still a long way to go for trade unions in China

It is probably the smallest trade union in the world, but the establishment of a two person union in a small privatized factory on the outskirts of Beijing last month still represents a step forward for China’s workers.

Chilean mine rescue leads to soul searching in China

The inspirational rescue of 33 Chilean miners, broadcast live around the world this week, has been met with mixed feelings in China. While sharing in the joy of the miners’ liberation from ten weeks underground, many in China are asking what would have happened if the workers had been trapped in a Chinese mine.

Collective bargaining and raising wages may be in China’s strategic interests

Although Chinese policymakers are very weary of "instability", they may not necessarily see workers demands for higher wages as a bad thing.

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