Forbidden From Forming Independent Trade Unions.
Reuters has more:
“BEIJING (Reuters) – Workers in China have become more aware of their rights and willing to go to court to fight for them, but are still hampered by an official ban on independent unions, a labour activist said on Thursday.
Publicity over the 2008 Labour Contract Law, which was opposed by some private business owners and foreign investors, is partly responsible for increased awareness, said Geoffrey Crothall, editor of China Labour Bulletin (CLB), which on Thursday released a survey of labour disputes in China.
Local governments are also becoming somewhat more accommodating of workers’ claims, although in some industries, particularly coal mining, they collude with bosses to stamp out worker action, he said..
“In general, the Chinese government is more conciliatory towards Chinese workers, but that’s not to say that everything in the garden is rosy,” Crothall told reporters.
“Workers are still harassed and detained, although they are less likely to receive long prison sentences.
Collectively, Chinese workers still lack a mechanism to resolve disputes stemming from unpaid wages and poor working conditions, particularly after an economic downturn last year and made economic growth China’s main priority, he said.
The state-backed All China Federation of Trade Unions is unlikely to fight for workers against owners, since its branches are often dominated by management and local party officials.
The union, which collects dues from members’ wages, last year made a strong push to expand into foreign multinationals’ operations in China.
Chinese workers are forbidden from forming independent trade unions.”
Update: Read the report at China Labour Bulletin.