China Labour E-Bulletin Issue No. 2 (2002-02-28)

In this Issue:

1. Editor's Note
2. Feature Article
- CLB Analysis of the New Trade Union Law
3. MONTHLY NEWS REVIEW
- News Review, Feb 2002: the New Year Warmth Project
4. WORKERS' VIEWS & ACTIONS
- Shandong Teachers on Strike over Wage Arrears

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Editor's Note

News coverage of China’s labour scene during this month has been dominated by reports of the serious problem of wage arrears among urban workers, pensioners and migrant workers; violations of migrant workers’ labour standards; and high industrial casualties among miners.

In this second issue of China Labour E-bulletin, we bring you a news review of the official campaign to help the poor during the Chinese New Year festival. This is a classic example of how the government tries to counter growing labour grievances with short term relief measures.

In an article about the newly-amended Trade Union Law (2001), China Labour Bulletin analyses the merits and inadequacies of the law for the protection of basic labour rights.

The transcript of a series of interviews with workers as well as government and union officials during a strike by teachers in a county town of Shandong province contains rare and revealing first hand accounts of the various stake-holders in a labour dispute.

We hope this E-bulletin helps to highlight some of the current labour issues
for our readers. Your feedback is most welcome. Please contact us at bulletin@clb.org.hk.

Please forward China Labour E-Bulletin to your friends, and they can subscribe to it at http://www.china-labour.org.hk.

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Feature Article

CLB Analysis of the New Trade Union Law

The Trade Union Law was amended in October 2001. The official mouthpieces tried to portray the amendment as a great step forward in better protecting labour rights and standards in China. The Law has made progress in establishing the legal status and role of the ACFTU. However, scrutiny of the new Law reveals that fundamental labour rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining are still being denied to the 400 million workers of China.

http://www.clb.org.hk/en/node/1582

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MONTHLY NEWS REVIEW

News Review, Feb 2002: the New Year Warmth Project

As in previous years, the party and the government launched a campaign to send warmth to the poor (song wennuan) during the Chinese New Year Festival. But do the poor really feel any warmer at the end of this campaign?

http://www.clb.org.hk/en/node/1594

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WORKERS' VIEWS & ACTIONS

Shandong Teachers on Strike over Wage Arrears

In November 2001, 3,500 teachers in Shandong Province launched a wild-cat strike to protest wage arrears. CLB talked to an eye-witness and local officials at the time of the incident and found that the local government department did not know about the strike and the local union did not want to do anything about it.

"The union is under the leadership of the Communist Party. Which union will dare to stand up to the bosses or factory management? You want to talk about that kind of thing, then talk about a developed country like the US where I can use the law to protect workers' rights!" exclaimed the deputy chair of the local ACFTU branch.

http://www.clb.org.hk/en/node/1576
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