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A collective protest by workers at an auto parts factory in Guangdong at being forced to work an additional 20 minutes each day to make up for their rest period, brought almost immediate success after a year of polite but fruitless negotiations.
The number of strikes in China’s service industries surged once again last month to overtake manufacturing as the country’s most strike prone sector, according to data compiled by China Labour Bulletin. Out of the 37 strikes and protests recorded on CLB’s strike map in September, over one half (21) occurred in the service sector, including seven in transport, six in retail and two in education. A total of 14 strikes were recorded in the manufacturing sector.
Guangzhou’s train station was a depressing sight. It was nearly midnight and the day’s waves of travelers had receded, leaving a tidemark of litter on the concrete floor. The place was filthy and cold. Many of the city’s jobless migrants had come to spend the night here. They arrived in groups of seven or eight, men and women from Guangxi and Yunnan, mostly in their thirties and forties, pulling heavy plastic bags of personal belongings across the station floor. They’d search for a corner and sit, leaning against their bags. Some dozed off quickly, weary after a day spent walking around the city looking for work. Others kept their eyes wide open, on the watch for security officers.
For business leaders attending a “small and medium-sized enterprise summit” in Guangzhou last weekend, it was very much a tale of two business models, the traditional “made in China” model and the newer more innovative “create in China” model.
The prize for Most Misleading Headline of the Week goes to the China Daily last Friday for its proclamation “Migrant children to sit gaokao in cities.” If true, this would be the answer to millions of migrant workers’ prayers for their children who, have to return “home” to the countryside to take the national college entrance exam. Photo by emop, available at flickr under a creative commons license..
The hosiery business has been good to the entrepreneurs of Datang, who rode out the 2008 crisis and recovered. But now business is slowing again – and experts fear that may presage a hard landing for the whole country
A two-day strike involving more than 1,000 workers at a Wuhan automotive components factory ended on Friday 24 August after management increased its pay offer to an extra 200 yuan a month.
Sichuan, the Chinese province perhaps most synonymous with the export of rural labour, now has more rural labourers employed at home than in other provinces. In the first half this year, there were 10.9 million rural workers from Sichuan employed inside the province,and 10.1 million rural migrants outside the province, according to official statistics.
The media love to hail the “opening” of China: opening up to "Western culture," opening up to digital communication and maybe even opening up to democracy. But for the most part, the focus is on keeping China open for business, and that sometimes means closing avenues for social progress and activism.
hether you call them jiu ling hou — the “post-'90s generation” — or millennials, things are not so different for recent college graduates in China and the US. Derided in both countries as spoiled, selfish and entitled, yet struggling to find decent work, they belong to generations whose high expectations for comfort and prosperity have been thwarted by economic trends.


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