Workers at the Ohms electronics factory in Shenzhen got their first taste of democracy on 27 May when they voted for their own trade union chairman. The workers had demanded their own representative trade union during a strike at the factory two months earlier and their success left them exuberant but also uncertain about what the future might hold.
CLB presents a detailed examination of the current struggle for workers’ rights in China at an international conference to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which opened in Paris on 4 December. Photo by Saad Akhtar.
CLB has translated some of the key provisions of the Shenzhen Municipal Implementing Regulations for the Trade Union Law of the People's Republic of China, an important and highly significant piece of legislation examined in our commentary A Turning Point for China’s Trade Unions.
We may have reached a crucial turning point in the history of China’s trade union movement. For the first time since 1949, trade union officials are openly stating that the union should represent the workers and no one else, while new legislation in Shenzhen places collective bargaining – previously a no-go area – at the core of the union’s work. Photograph by lille firstname.lastname@example.org
Draft regulations currently before the Shenzhen municipal legislature represent an important development in China’s labour law which could lay the groundwork for improved labour relations and give trade unions the opportunity to effectively represent workers in collective bargaining with management. Photograph. Migrant Workers in Shenzhen by Jervetson@flickr.com
Workers in China do not have the constitutional right to strike. Yet, every day in the Pearl River Delta alone there is at least one major strike involving over a thousand employees and dozens of smaller strikes and stoppages. Photograph by Sebi
China Labour Bulletin appears in this article. Copyright remains with the original publisher
From The Sunday Times
March 30, 2008
Adidas workers on £11 a week in China
Staff complain of terrible conditions in the Olympic sponsor's factories
Michael Sheridan in Fuzhou and Claire Newell