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Last month, 19 striking workers at a jewellery factory in the Guangzhou suburb of Panyu were sacked without any compensation. Three of the workers were pregnant and two were nursing mothers.
Beijing seems to realise it is in its own interest to allow workers to move forward, says Han Dongfang
Around 60 healthcare workers have been protesting on the steps of the Guangzhou Chinese Medicine University Hospital for 47 days now demanding social insurance contributions that are about a dozen years in arrears. Photograph of protesting hospital workers taken from Weibo.
CHIP STARNES, an American businessman, used to run a medical-equipment factory just outside Beijing. For six days last month however he gained renown as an impromptu prisoner. His own employees had become his jailers, until they released him on June 27th.
Han Dongfang talks to one of the Chinese bus drivers deported from Singapore after staging a high-profile strike in the city state last November.
U.S. businessman Chip Starnes walked to freedom Thursday after paying off the workers who held him hostage for six days in the factory he founded close to the Chinese capital. And now he plans to re-hire some of the very people who held him.
Wearing the same blue shirt and jeans he has worn since Friday, Chip Starnes, 42, walked around his factory in Qiaozi, a quiet town in northeast Beijing, on a gloomy Tuesday morning. Tired but still smiling, he greeted reporters standing outside the factory gate.
The machines are all ready to go. But the lights are out at Specialty Medical Supplies, a small American company that has been making alcohol swabs and plastic parts in Qiaozi, a sleepy town at the foothills just north of Beijing, for 10 years.
A short circuit was identified Friday as the primary cause of the fire that killed 121 workers at the Baoyuanfeng poultry plant early this month, but officials later conceded that negligence was ultimately to blame.
China's economic slowdown, and the rising costs of labor in the country's main industrial hubs, are contributing to a transformation in the way workers negotiate with employers, says a Hong Kong-based workers' rights organization

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