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Hu Shigen (胡石根), one of China’s foremost labour rights and pro-democracy activists, has finally been freed from prison after serving 16 years of a 20-year sentence for attempting to form an independent trade union and political party in the early 1990s. He was released from Beijing No. 2 Prison on 26 August 2008.
China Labour Bulletin is cited in this article. Copyright remains with the orginal publisher.
Beijing has set up a new central government department designed to promote and defend the interests of China’s more than 130 million migrant workers. However, the Department of Migrant Workers’ Affairs will face an uphill task. Photo by onekell @ flickr.com
The lack of legal compulsion and the impotence of many enterprise level trade unions are making the implementation of the Chinese government's collective wage consultation system an uphill struggle, union officials in the central city of Luoyang have conceded. Photo by Saad Akhtar@flickr.com
In November 1997, Deng Wenping, a migrant worker from Sichuan province, got a job as a gem cutter at a factory owned by Perfect Gem & Pearl Manufacturing Co, a Hong Kong-invested enterprise in Boluo county, Huizhou city, Guangdong province. After falling seriously ill, Deng was admitted to the Guangdong Occupational Disease Hospital in December 2000.
Zhang Guangli was a worker at the No. 1 Steel Plant operated by Angang New Steel Co Ltd., a subsidiary of the Angang Steel Group in Anshan city, Liaoning province. On 23 April 1993, Zhang had four fingers and the skin on the thumb of his left hand torn off while operating a machine at work.
Before employees can make a claim for work-related injury or occupational disease compensation at their local Labour Dispute Arbitration Committee (LDAC), their degree of disability has been assessed and officially certified by the Labour Appraisal Committee. There are ten grades of disability, determined by the Standard Assessment of the Seriousness of Work-related Injuries
A personal viewpoint of the Liaoyang struggle*
The following is an updated list of imprisoned labour rights activists in China jointly compiled by China Labour Bulletin and the Hong Kong Liaison Office of the international trade union movement (IHLO)

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