You are here

CLB quoted on the Tonghua Incident

China Labour Bulletin was extensively quoted by major news organizations, including Time and The Guardian, on the riot at a steel plant in Jilin that led to the death of a senior manager.

The Guardian focused on the long standing grievances of workers at the Tonghua Iron and Steel Group and the abrasive management style of the Jianlong Group, which was to take over the company, threatening 25,000 lay-offs. The report quoted CLB as pointing out that::

In most cases [redundancy pay] is a pretty derisory sum … Sometimes they get pension benefits, sometimes they don't. If people made redundant are middle-aged or elderly their job prospects are very slim, especially if they have been doing one job all their lives. If you are getting into your mid-30s, its increasingly difficult to find a job.

Time, meanwhile, looked at the impact of the economic downturn on labour unrest in China but quoted CLB as saying:

Downsizing and consolidation in and of itself is not the problem. It's the way in which that process is undertaken. What has been the case for many years is the privatization and restructuring of state-owned enterprises. The selling-off of state-owned assets and merger of state-owned companies has nearly always been done behind closed doors. The workers are never involved - they are simply presented with an ultimatum…Workers have no idea about the true value of the assets that are being privatized. Very often they accuse management - correctly in many cases - of embezzling assets in league with corrupt officials.

See also: 

Business Week: Rioting Chinese Steel Workers Kill Boss Over Layoffs

Agence France Presse: China takeover scrapped after workers kill manager

Radio France International: Authorities stop takeover after employees kill manager