RTHK The Pulse: Labour Unrest in Guangzhou

China Labour Bulletin appears in the following broadcast. Copyright remains with the original broadcaster.

RTHK The Pulse. 17 June 2011.

Labour Unrest in Guangzhou; Eavesdropping on Lorry Drivers?; Nuclear Power Forum

Simmering tensions in labour relations in the mainland are sometimes exacerbated by the tough conditions faced by migrant workers. Now and again, these tensions bubble over into open confrontation, as they did last weekend. The unrest was triggered when a pregnant migrant woman from Sichuan province was asked to remove her hawker’s stall by village security officers on Friday night. Workers accused the villages’ security officers of pushing the pregnant woman to the ground. Those accusations led to a violent conflict between workers and security officers. Hundreds of people, mainly workers from Sichuan workers, flocked to the area. Some hurled bricks and bottles at municipality officers.

Geoffrey Crothall of the China Labour Bulletin talks to us about labour tensions in the mainland.

If you regularly cross the border into mainland China and have a dual license plate, you’ll have been given a device to place in your vehicle. They supposedly speed cross-border processing. But some local lorry drivers, not to mention smugglers, have begun to get suspicious. Do they relay more than your vehicle statistics?

Last Friday, as we prepared to go to air, local think tank Civic Exchange held a public forum on nuclear power. And it’s a topic that even splits Green groups, with some arguing that nuclear power is the least environmentally damaging option; others saying that misses the point, which is that we should just get used to using less energy anyway.
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