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Los Angeles Times: Chinese factory giant employed underage interns on assembly line

A Chinese vocational school sends five 15-year-old boys to assemble Sony PlayStations at a Foxconn manufacturing plant. The legal age to do such work is 16.
31 October 2012

Strikes surge again in September led by disputes in the service sector

The number of strikes in China’s service industries surged once again last month to overtake manufacturing as the country’s most strike prone sector, according to data compiled by China Labour Bulletin. Out of the 37 strikes and protests recorded on CLB’s strike map in September, over one half (21) occurred in the service sector, including seven in transport, six in retail and two in education. A total of 14 strikes were recorded in the manufacturing sector.
08 October 2012

Selling tofu to Botswana

What happens when a Chinese construction company tries to bribe a senior government official in Botswana to turn a blind eye to structural problems discovered in a new school the company was building in the Okavango delta?
23 August 2012

Global Post: In China, college education comes at a price

hether you call them jiu ling hou — the “post-'90s generation” — or millennials, things are not so different for recent college graduates in China and the US. Derided in both countries as spoiled, selfish and entitled, yet struggling to find decent work, they belong to generations whose high expectations for comfort and prosperity have been thwarted by economic trends.
07 August 2012

The long uphill struggle for migrant schools in Beijing continues

During his concert tour of Hong Kong last week, “New Worker” Sun Heng once again called the public’s attention to the threatened closure of the Tongxin Primary School for the children of migrant workers, which he helped set up on a deserted factory site on the outskirts of Beijing in 2005.
10 July 2012

Why raising the retirement age is a bad idea for workers

It was no surprise that when the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) announced in early June that raising the retirement age for workers in China was unavoidable due to people’s longer life expectancy, it quickly galvanized a heated public debate.Front page photo of worker in Xi'an's old city by Mathieu Gasnier.
22 June 2012

Local governments more active in labour dispute resolution

Local governments took a far more active role in dealing with strikes and worker protests in May, directly intervening in half the cases recorded on CLB’s strike map last month. Local governments intervened or mediated in nine of the 20 strikes recorded in May, compared with just one such intervention in April. Pay demands once again dominated workers’ complaints with nine cases last month, and the manufacturing sector was once again the major source of strikes, primarily in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and foreign invested factories.
08 June 2012

Foreign Policy: China's iPad Generation

On a sweltering night in July 2011, 17-year-old Zhang Juanzi arrives at her farmhouse in the remote village of Silong in Hunan province. Despite the cramped 12-hour van journey from Shenzhen, the young girl bounds past the wooden doors to wake up her 5-year-old brother, Zhang Yi, whose face scrunches in the flickering light. He is thrilled by her arrival, but when he sees his mother, Huang Dongyan, he recoils into his sister's arms. He will not look at Huang, who is squealing at him, begging him to say "Mommy."
08 May 2012

Socialist Review: Trouble brewing in China

What are the main reasons behind the upsurge of strikes in China recently? There are lots of different reasons. The most fundamental is that workers don't really have any other option if they want to pursue their economic interests or defend their legal rights. There is no established system of dialogue workers can use to express their grievances with employers. The only way they can get their voices heard is basically to go on strike.
18 April 2012

China’s workers emboldened: Strikes escalate in March

The number of strikes recorded by China Labour Bulletin in March 2012 reached its highest monthly total since we started monitoring worker protests on a day to day basis 15 months ago. A total of 38 strikes were logged across China, primarily in the manufacturing and transportation sectors. Half of the strikes, 19 in all, were related to pay demands, three concerned factory relocations, three strikes were in protest at merger or restructuring plans, and four were related to the payment of overtime.
08 April 2012
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