Posts Tagged ‘basic’
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.
I am indebted to AVPS for reminding me about the Justice for the Shrewsbury Pickets campaign.
For far too long have we taken for granted those limited rights that we have to picket and take part in industrial action, and the case of the Shrewsbury 24 just shows what lengths a Tory government will go to in its battle to defeat trade unionism.
Britain might well have another Tory government within the space of a year, and if not, be left with a weak anti-Union set of New Labour flunkies, either way, not good for trade unionism.
AVPS explains the issue:
“Ricky Tomlinson talked about the recent attempts made to clear his name and described his correspondence with Jack Straw, the so-called justice minister. After much wrangling and petitions for the relevant files to be released under the 30 year rule (requests denied by Straw on grounds of ‘national security’!) Ricky was finally allowed to see some pertaining to the case. He sat down in a room with a keeper of the records and began turning the pages … only to find huge junks of the reports redacted. If these don’t suggest a cover up, he didn’t know what does. He also described the appalling treatment he and especially Dessie received inside, a treatment that saw Dessie serve his three years in no less than 17 prisons.”