While teachers in the United States have been making headlines with a series of ground-breaking strikes across the country, education workers in China have also been taking collective action over a wide range of issues from low pay, pensions, bonus payments and wages in arrears.
Of the 135 incidents recorded on CLB’s Strike Map in April, a total of 14, or nine percent, involved education workers, a remarkable statistic given that teachers only make up about two percent of the national workforce in China.
Some of the largest, best organized and most determined worker protests in China in recent years have been staged by teachers. China’s teachers make up less than two percent of the overall workforce but they account for about four percent of the strikes and protests recorded on China Labour Bulletin’s Strike Map.
Amid a wave of strikes, hopes for lasting workplace reforms
Australian Financial Review: Why China is aiming for 'low' growth rate of 7 per cent that other countries would kill for
Premier Li Keqiang is expected to announce this year's target for growth in gross domestic product of "around 7 percent" when he gives his work report - China's version of the State of the Union - to launch the National People's Congress on Thursday morning local time.
Labor unrest is on the rise in China and likely to increase as the leadership grapples with a dangerous combination of an economic slowdown and the lack of effective institutions to cope with worker unrest.
The Chinese economy grew by just 7.4 percent last year, its lowest level since 1990, and there is little sign the economy will improve in the near future. It is during times of economic hardship like this that the need for an effective and beneficial social security system becomes ever more apparent. In China, however, it is obvious that the system is not working.
Chinese workers have staged hundreds of strikes in recent months, many of them over unpaid wages ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, according to a recent report.
Guangdong province pioneers a new approach to keeping workers happy
The city of Nanchang, site of the first major battle between Communist forces and the Kuomintang in 1927, has recently been in the news for a different kind of insurgent: the taxi driver. Underpaid and overworked, more than 500 of them went on strike on Jan. 13, attempting to drive in a convoy to the provincial government office before being stopped by police.